Playing at home for the first time in nearly three weeks, the Cal Poly volleyball team swept UC Irvine (25-19, 25-23, 25-13) Tuesday in front of over 1,000 fans at Mott Athletics Center to earn its 20th victory of the season and remain in first place in the Big West conference.
The No. 17 Mustangs (20-2, 10-1 BWC), avenge Friday’s loss at Hawai’i which snapped an 18-match win streak and their streak of 26 straight wins over Big West opponents. However, Tuesday’s win over the Anteaters (14-9, 8-3 BWC) extends Cal Poly’s program-record home win streak to 19 matches dating back to 2016.
Junior opposite hitter Torrey Van Winden recorded her ninth double-double of the season with a match-high 21 kills, hitting .375, 11 digs and two service aces. Senior outside hitter Adlee Van Winden added nine kills and seven digs. Senior libero Katherine Brouker finished with a match-high 17 digs, freshman middle blocker Meredith Phillips added six kills and freshman setter Avalon DeNecochea dished out a match-high 39 assists to pace the offense.
Cal Poly got out to a fast start to begin the match. They took a 7-3 advantage early before UC Irvine cut the lead to 9-7. Up 12-8, the Mustangs used a 5-3 run to take a six-point lead. Up 19-14 later in the set, Cal Poly scored four of the next six points to take a 23-16 lead. After the Anteaters cut it to 24-19, a kill by Adlee Van Winden finished off the first set for Cal Poly 25-19. For the set, the Mustangs outhit UC Irvine .343 to .167.
It was a different story to start the second set, with both teams trading points. Neither team held a lead more than two until, tied at 16, Cal Poly scored four unanswered points to take a 20-16 lead. Down 22-17, the Anteaters then scored four straight to make it a one-point game. After trading the next few points, the Mustangs held a 24-23 lead and were able to end the set thanks to a kill by Torrey Van Winden, giving Cal Poly the 25-23 win.
The Mustangs saved their best defense for the third set, holding UC Irvine to a .031 hitting percentage for the set. However, the beginning of the set was close, with both teams going back-and-forth. Tied at 8, Cal Poly went on a 9-2 run to take a 17-10 lead. The Mustangs did not look back from there, finishing the set on an 8-3 run to take it 25-13 for their 13th sweep of the season.
Cal Poly has now reached the 20-win mark for the second-year in a row. It is the first time the program has had back-to-back 20+ win seasons since they did it in 2006-07.
The Mustangs go back on the road Friday to take on UC Santa Barbara at 7 p.m. Cal Poly has won the last three meetings with the Gauchos. Links for live stats and video for that match can be found on the schedule page.
–Provided by Cal Poly