RIVERSIDE, Calif. – The Cal Poly volleyball team swept the UC Riverside Highlanders in a Big West Conference match on Saturday to improve to 4-4 in conference play and 10-11 overall. Cal Poly won by set scores of 25-23, 26-24 and 25-17.
With the sweep, UCR falls to 0-8 in Big West play and 1-19 overall. Cal Poly will return to the court when the team returns home to host UC Santa Barbara for a Blue-Green Rivalry match on Saturday, Nov. 2 at 7 pm at Mott Athletics Center.
Cal Poly was led by senior Megan McConnell with 14 kills. McConnell's kills came on 35 swings with just two hitting errors. Her all-round game included 12 digs and two assisted blocks. Freshman Anna Gorman tallied double figure kills for the second match in a row when she recorded 11 kills on 32 swings. Freshman Taylor Gruenewald was the third Mustangs with double figure kills with 10 on 19 swings.
Senior Marianne Gera had five kills with two blocks and three digs. Sophomore Maddie Kuber and junior Shannon Garrett each dished out 20 assists.
Bri Holmes and Tyler Dorsey each had 10 kills to lead the Highlanders while Maddie Hubbell and Cristina Maietta each had 13 digs.
Cal Poly outhit UCR, .234 to .158, and held a two dig advantage, 59-57. UCR held the edge in blocks, 7-6.
UCR moved out to a 5-2 lead in the first set behind a pair of aces by Hubbell. Cal Poly came back to tie the set at 6-6 on a kill by Gera and gained a two point lead (10-8) on another kill by Gera. UCR came back to take the lead, 14-13, with the Mustangs calling a timeout. The teams traded points until UCR pulled out to an 18-15 lead, but the Mustangs responded with a 4-1 run to tie up the set, 19-19. UCR held a 23-21 lead when the Mustangs rattled off four straight points for a 25-23 first set win. In the set Cal Poly hit .244 while UCR hit .220.
The teams traded points to open the second set when the Mustangs opened up a four point lead, 8-4, capped by a Gruenewald kill. UCR would battle back and tie the set at 15-15 with the teams trading points until UCR gained a 19-17 lead and would increase the lead to 20-17. Cal Poly would go in a 5-2 run and tie the set at 22-22. The teams traded points until the Mustangs would score the final three points on kills by McConnell and two by Gruenewald for a 26-24 win. The Mustangs hit .255 in the set with the Highlanders hitting, .225.
UCR built a 9-6 lead with the Mustangs calling timeout to open the third set. Cal Poly went on a 3-0 run to tie up the set, 9-9. Cal Poly took its first lead of the set on a kill by McConnell to give the Mustangs an 11-10 lead. Cal Poly gained a two point lead, 16-14, on a kill by Gorman and made it 20-16 on a solo block by Garrett. Cal Poly closed out the set and the match on a 5-1 run and an ace by Garrett, 25-17. Cal Poly finished the final set hitting just .194, but limited UCR to an .026 hitting percentage.