Following its two historic wins last week over then No. 9 UCLA, the Cal Poly volleyball team moved up to No. 14 in this week’s American Volleyball Coaches Association Top 25 Poll.
The Mustangs (7-1) moved up eight spots after being ranked No. 22 the week prior. They began the season ranked No. 24. They have now surpassed the highest-ranking last year’s team received, which finished as the best team in program history. That team was ranked as high as No. 21.
This is now the highest Cal Poly has been ranked since week one of the 2008 season when they were also ranked No. 14.
The Mustangs beat the Bruins (4-2), who are now No. 16 in the AVCA Top 25, 3-1 both Thursday and Friday at Mott Athletics Center to hand them their first two losses of the season. The wins avenged last season’s second round NCAA Tournament loss to UCLA that ended the Mustangs’ historic season.
Cal Poly has now won six matches in a row. Its only loss this season came in a road match against Pittsburgh who is now 9-0 and ranked No. 9 in this week’s rankings.
The Mustangs will look to extend its winning streak this weekend when they head to Denton, TX for the North Texas Challenge. There, they will take on Mississippi State, Wichita State and North Texas. Wichita State was in the ‘receiving votes’ category of this week’s AVCA Top 25 Poll.Cal Poly Volleyball Moves Up to No. 14 in Latest AVCA Top 25 Poll
Meanwhile, junior outside hitter Torrey Van Winden was selected as the Big West Player of the Week for the third time in her career, in addition to also being named Cal Poly’s Coca-Cola Student-Athlete of the Week, while freshman setter Avalon DeNecochea was named Big West Freshman of the Week.
In the two matches, Van Winden averaged 5.50 kills, 2.63 digs, 0.88 blocks and 0.38 aces per set against her former school. She finished with 18 kills and 13 digs for her third double-double of the season in Cal Poly’s home opener Thursday in addition to three block assists and two aces.
She then bettered that performance Friday, posting a season-high 26 kills while hitting .362 and added eight digs, four blocks and an ace in the victory. In the second match, Van Winden put the Mustangs up two sets to one with a huge third set in which she had 10 kills and no errors while hitting .562.
Through the first three weeks of the season, Van Winden ranks 14th in the NCAA in kills per set with a 4.57 average. That is also good for third in the Big West. She also currently sits eighth in the Big West in hitting percentage with a .318 clip.
DeNecochea directed the Cal Poly offense with 12.63 assists per set in the two wins on the way to her first career Big West Freshman of the Week award.
She dished out a career-high 51 assists in the first match. She then nearly matched that the following night after finishing with 50 assists. She had three kills and an ace in each match. She also added 13 digs and six blocks in the two matches.
DeNecochea is currently second in the Big West in assists per set with 9.87. She is also 10th in aces per set with .30.
The duo helped Cal Poly (7-1) to its first wins over a top-10 team in over a decade and extended its winning streak to six matches.
Up next, Cal Poly heads to Denton, Tex., for the North Texas Challenge, where the Mustangs will take on Mississippi State, Wichita State and North Texas.
-Provided by Cal Poly