Mustangs defeat UC Davis in five-set battle Saturday

Posted at 12:09 AM, Oct 06, 2019

Three Mustangs reached double-digit kills as the Cal Poly volleyball team grinded out a five-set win over UC Davis Saturday (25-21, 25-21, 15-25, 18-25, 15-10) inside Mott Athletics Center to remain unbeaten in Big West play.

The Mustangs (12-5, 5-0 BW) are now 5-1 this season in five-set matches. The victory over the Aggies (10-7, 2-2 BW) is their seventh in a row and extends their nation’s-best home winning streak to 27 matches. It also leaves them tied for first in the Big West with UC Santa Barbara, who is also 5-0.

Cal Poly was led on the night offensively by junior outside hitter Maia Dvoracek who finished with a match-high 21 kills, hitting .245 to go along with five digs and four blocks. Senior outside hitter Jessica McRoskey had a career-night, contributing 13 kills. Sophomore middle blocker Meredith Phillips added 10 kills, hitting .389 and four blocks. Sophomore setter Avalon DeNecochea had a match-high 50 assists, the second time she has reached at least 50 in a match this season, while also adding six digs, three kills and three blocks. Defensively, senior libero Mika Dickson finished with a match-high 15 digs and sophomore defensive specialist Lea Ungar added 11 digs.

In the first set, the Mustangs were down early by as many as five points before they mounted a comeback. Down 11-6, Cal Poly went on a 9-4 run to eventually tie it at 15. With the score tied at 16, a 6-2 run by the Mustangs gave them a 22-18 lead. UC Davis cut it to 23-20 before Cal Poly scored two of the next three points to win the set 25-21.

The second set was back-and-forth early before UC Davis went on a 6-2 run when it was tied at 5 to go ahead 11-7. The Aggies then extended their lead to as many as seven at 17-10. However, the Mustangs fought their way back with six straight points to cut the lead to one. Down 21-18 later in the set, Cal Poly once again made a huge run, this time scoring seven straight points to win the set 25-21.

UC Davis was able to win the third set thanks in part to an 11-2 run when it was tied at 5 to go up 16-7. They never looked back from there, going on to win the set 25-15.

It was a similar story in the fourth set. With the Aggies leading 10-8, a 6-2 run gave them a 16-10 lead. Cal Poly was able to cut the lead to five at 23-18 before UC Davis scored two straight points to win the set 25-18.

Playing its sixth five-set match of the season, Cal Poly came out the gates strong to begin the deciding set. The Mustangs scored the first four points of the set and eventually led 7-3. The Aggies cut the lead to 9-6 before Cal Poly scored three consecutive points to go up 12-6. Leading 14-10, a kill by Dvoracek sealed the victory for Cal Poly 15-10.

The Mustangs will now shift their focus to next Friday’s pivotal home match against No. 11 Hawai’i at 7 p.m. Cal Poly has defeated the Rainbow Wahine each of the last two seasons at Mott Athletics Center, a match that has also sold out each of those times. Hawai’i has finished in second place in the Big West each of the past two years.

- Provided by Cal Poly