Though Cal Poly’s fall sports teams are still competing, winter sports teams will begin their seasons in the next few weeks. The cold weather signals the beginning of wrestling and men’s and women’s basketball.
The men’s basketball team is coming off of a shaky 2015 season (10-20, 4-12 Big West) and opened the year with a 77-68 loss on the road to Pepperdine.
The team returns senior starting point guard Ridge Shipley and senior center Zach Gordon in addition to junior offensive threats Josh Martin and Luke Meikle, both of whom transferred from out of state schools to Cal Poly last year.
This year will be changing of the guard for the Mustangs, as many younger players will have to step up. The Mustangs’ three leading scorers from last year have graduated and it’s up to underclassmen, led by a couple of veterans, to be successful this year.
Younger players, including junior sharpshooter Taylor Sutlive, sophomore guard Jaylen Shead, and redshirt sophomore forward Aleks Abrams will have to step up big for the inexperienced but talented Mustangs.
The team is led by coach Joe Callero in his eighth year at Cal Poly.
The Mustangs are looking to improve on last season’s losing record last season (15-16, 7-9 Big West) with the help of senior forward Hannah Gilbert. Gilbert led the team in points, rebounds, and blocks last season.
The team opened the 2016 season with a pair of losses, including an 83-55 loss to No. 10 Stanford and a 97-96 loss at Sacramento State.
Gilbert and junior guard Dynn Leaupepe were both chosen to the Big West Preseason All-Conference Team. The duo is expected to set the tone for the team and lead them on both ends of the court.
Head coach Faith Mimnaugh, in her 20th year leading the team, heads a squad that returns 11 players from last season.
The Cal Poly wrestling team has split its opening six matches, winning matches against San Francisco State, Indiana and Cal Baptist in addition to losses against Stanford, Northwestern and Rutgers.
The team is led by senior Colt Shorts who has won all three of his matches in the early season. Shorts wrestles in the 157 lb. weight class.
With new head coach Jon Sioredas and a couple new assistant coaches as well, the Mustangs look to improve upon last season’s lackluster result (3-9, 1-4 Pac-12).
They are off to a strong start and look to a few experienced leaders such as Shorts, junior Colton Schilling and senior J.T. Goodwin to keep the positive trend going.
Both the men’s and women’s tennis teams started their season with several tournaments in September and October. Both have returning veterans and newcomers who add new faces and new abilities to the teams.
Dual matches for both tennis teams begin in January.