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Mustangs fall on the road to No. 21 Hawaii in four sets

Posted: 12:32 AM, Nov 04, 2019
Updated: 2019-11-04 03:32:48-05
Cal Poly vs. Hawai’i

Despite match-high 29 kills on a .254 hitting percentage and 13 digs for her sixth double-double of the season from junior outside hitter Maia Dvoracek, the Cal Poly volleyball team fell on the road to the University of Hawaii in four sets on the road Sunday inside the Stan Sheriff Center in front of nearly 7,000 fans by set scores of 25-15, 22-25, 20-25, 23-25.

Dvoracek’s stellar performance was just one kill shy of her career-high as she has now recorded double-digit kills in 13 consecutive matches. The Mustangs’ (16-7, 9-2 BW) also got six kills each from junior middle blocker Madilyn Mercer and sophomore middle blocker Meredith Phillips. Mercer also had a team-high three blocks on the night. Sophomore setter Avalon DeNecochea dished out a match-high 45 assists and senior libero Mika Dickson added 13 digs for Cal Poly.

The loss now sees the Rainbow Wahine (20-3, 10-2 BW) atop the Big West standings at 10-2. The Mustangs are now tied for second with UCSB at 9-2.

Cal Poly opened the first set by getting out to an early 4-1 lead. Hawaii then responded with a 6-1 run to go up 7-5. Leading 9-8, the Rainbow Wahine scored six straight points to push their lead to 15-8. The Mustangs were able to cut the lead to as little as five at 12-17 but from there, Hawai’i finished the set on an 8-3 run to win the opening set 25-15.

It was back-and-forth to start the second set. Tied at 7-7, Cal Poly scored three consecutive points to take a 10-7 lead. The Mustangs held a lead by as many as five at 19-14 before the Rainbow Wahine scored three straight points to cut it to 19-17 before Cal Poly responded with back-to-back kills by Madilyn Mercer to push the lead to 21-17. Hawaii then scored three consecutive points to cut the Cal Poly lead to 21-20. Up 22-21, the Mustangs finished the set with a 3-1 run to win it 25-22. In the set, Cal Poly hit .297 while committing just four attack errors.

It was a similar start to the third set as the second, tightly contested. With the Rainbow Wahine leading 5-4, they then scored five straight points to take a 10-4 advantage. Down 6-12, the Mustangs scored four unanswered points to trim the Hawaii lead to 10-12. A 4-1 run by the Rainbow Wahine pushed their lead to 16-11. Cal Poly cut the lead to three twice, first at 20-17, then at 22-19 before Hawaii ended the set on a 3-1 run to take it 25-20.

The Rainbow Wahine opened the fourth set by scoring the first four points. The Mustangs responded with three straight points to cut the lead to one. Hawaii then scored four consecutive points again to go up 8-3. Cal Poly rallied back to cut the lead to one at 11-12. Down 15-12, the Mustangs scored three straight points to tie it at 15-15. Tied at 16-16, the Rainbow Wahine went on a 4-1 run to go up 20-17. Cal Poly then came back to tie it at 21-21 after a 4-1 run. Cal Poly held off one match point at 24-22 to cut it to 24-23 before a net violation by the Mustangs finished the set 25-23.

Cal Poly will now return home for a pivotal match against UC Santa Barbara next Saturday, Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. from Mott Athletics Center.

-Provided by Cal Poly