No. 24 Mustangs sweep Aggies Saturday to finish USU Invitational 3-0

Posted at 11:07 PM, Sep 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-05 13:23:10-04

Junior Torrey Van Winden had a match-high 18 kills, hitting .552 and added three blocks to help lead the Cal Poly volleyball team to a 3-0 win (25-19, 25-23, 25-21) over Utah State Saturday inside the Estes Center. With the win, the No. 24 Mustangs (5-1) went 3-0 over the weekend at the Utah State Invitational extending its win streak to four matches.

Senior Adlee Van Winden added eight kills and a team-high 10 digs for Cal Poly and freshman setter Avalon DeNecocheafinished with a match-high 35 assists. For their efforts, Torrey was named Tournament MVP while Adlee and DeNecochea were both named to the All-Tournament team.

 "Overall it was a good weekend," head coach Sam Crosson said. "We made some improvements in areas we need to get better at. Our floor defense and blocking are starting to work a lot better. I believe we’re making progress and that’s what these tournaments are for. I feel like the team continues to improve so I’m pleased with where we’re at."

The Mustangs got out to a 7-4 lead in the first set before the Aggies went on a 5-1 to take a 9-8 lead. Cal Poly would respond with a 7-2 run to take a 16-11 lead. Utah State would get to within four at 20-16 but that was as close as they would get. Thanks to seven kills from Torrey Van Winden, five from Adlee Van Winden and the Mustangs hitting .467 as a team, they would go on to win the set 25-19.

The teams would go back-and-forth for the first 16 points of the second set. Tied at 8, Cal Poly would score three straight points to take an 11-8 lead. Up 11-10, a 5-1 run would give the Mustangs a 16-11 lead. With Cal Poly up 20-14, the Aggies would score seven straight to tie it at 21. Tied at 23, a Torrey Van Winden kill followed by a Nikki Jackson kill would win the set for the Mustangs 25-23.

Cal Poly would start the third set strong, scoring the first five points of the set. Up 7-3, Utah State would go on a 7-3 run of their own to tie it at 10. Later, tied at 16, the Mustangs would score four-straight points to take a 20-16 lead. The Aggies would eventually fight their way back to tie it at 21. With both teams tied at 23, Cal Poly would score back-to-back times to win 25-23 and complete the sweep.

As a team, the Mustangs tied its season-high for aces Saturday with five. Freshman Taylor Rose led the way with two.

"I thought our energy was good today," Crosson added. "I thought we looked calm but intense in our execution and offensively our attackers made good decisions."

Cal Poly will look to continue its winning ways next week when it hosts No. 10 UCLA for two matches at Mott Athletics Center. The Mustangs will be looking for revenge after the Bruins beat them in the second round of NCAA Tournament last season. The first match will be Thursday, September 6 at 7 p.m. with a Big West championship banner ceremony taking place right before the match. The second will be the next night, Friday, September 7 at 7 p.m. 

-Provided by Cal Poly