Text Version
Please wait while the ticker loads...

October 30, 2013

Mustangs Renew Blue-Green Rivalry with Conference Leading UCSB

COMPLETE RELEASE (PDF)

First Serve: Cal Poly returns home this week to host Central Coast rival UC Santa Barbara in a Blue-Green Rivalry match on Saturday, at 7 pm

The Mustangs enter the match with a 10-11 overall record and post a 4-4 mark in conference play. The Gauchos enter the week leading the conference with a 7-1 Big West record and are 12-8 overall.

Cal Poly picked up a pair of wins this past week on the road when they defeated Cal State Fullerton (3-1) and UC Riverside (3-0).

In the match with the Titans, Cal Poly was led by freshman Anna Gorman's 15 kills. Gorman, seeing action as an outside hitter for the first time this season, took 41 swings with just four hitting errors (.268). Senior Megan McConnell added 12 kills with freshman Taylor Gruenewald adding 11 kills.

Cal Poly hit .227 while limiting the Titans to a .181 hitting percentage. The Mustangs held a 6-2 advantage in aces and 10-6 edge in blocks. Senior Marianne Gera led the team with seven total blocks (one solo).

In the three set win over UC Riverside on Saturday, McConnell led the team with 14 kills on 35 swings (.343). Gorman had double figure kills for the second time in two matches with 11 on 32 swings. Gruenewald had 10 kills on 19 swings (.421).

McConnell's all-around game included 12 digs with two assisted blocks. Cal Poly hit .234 for the match while limiting UCR to a .158 hitting percentage. Cal Poly held a slim 59-57 edge in digs and was outblocked, 7-6, in the match.

A Quick Look at the Teams:    
                               CP        UCSB
Record:               10-11        12-8
BWC                       4-4          7-1
Kills:                   12.88        12.81
Hitting %:            .214          .232
Digs:                  14.28        14.26
Blocks:                 1.84          2.37
Ser. Aces:            1.33          1.10

UC Santa Barbara: The Gauchos enter the match 12-8 overall and 7-1 in conference matches and have won their last seven after opening conference play with five set loss to Long Beach State. This past week UCSB defeated UC Riverside and Cal State Fullerton in three sets each. The Gauchos are paced by senior outside hitter Katey Thompson who checks in with 3.53 kills and adds 0.85 blocks per set. Freshman Ali Spindt adds 2.67 kills and 2.54 digs per set with Hanna Nielson taking care of the setting duties with 7.04 assists per set. Senior Leah Sully leads the team with 3.65 digs per set with Phoebe Grunt recording 1.12 blocks per set. UC Santa Barbara leads the Mustangs in the all-time series, 45-26, including 3-1 win over Cal Poly on Sept. 28 in Santa Barbara.

This Past Weekend: True Freshman Anna Gorman, seeing action for the first time at outside hitter, led the team with 15 kills on 41 swings in the four set win over Cal State Fullerton. She came back the next night and added 11 kills on 32 swings in the three set win over UC Riverside. For Gorman it was her first action of the season at outside hitter after serving as a server in her previous 19 sets. Senior Megan McConnell has returned to her solid play when she averaged 3.71 kills and 2.57 digs per set this past week. Her all-around game included four aces and four assisted blocks. With senior Chelsea Hardin sidelined, McConnell leads the team with 2.97 kills per set and adds 2.62 digs. Sophomore Hannah Schleis adds 2.69 kills with freshman Taylor Gruenewald adding 2.45 kills per set while hitting .314. This season Maddie Kuber and junior Shannon Garrett have shared the setting duties with Kuber seeing action in 60 sets and Garrett 36 sets while averaging 9.67 and 6.89 assists per set.

A New Hot Hand...: True freshman carried the hot hand last week in the two Big West Conference wins. With 15 and 11 kills respectively, she averaged 3.71 kills while hitting .247 for the two matches....

McConnell's Way..: Senior outside hitter Megan McConnell continues to set the pace for the team... This past week she averaged 3.71 kills and 2.57 digs per set in the two matches...  The seniors all-around game checks in with 2.92 kills and 2.62 digs per set... She has added 23 assists, 14 service aces and 27 total blocks...

In Big West Conference Play: Since BWC play opened, senior Chelsea Hardin had led the team entering last weeks matches... She was averaging 3.64 kills per set and hitting .300.. The void at the top is filled by Megan McConnell with averaging 3.03 kills per set.. She is followed by Anna Gorman with 2.89 and freshman Taylor Gruenewald with 2.79....

Turnaround Season: Things are looking up for the Mustangs in the 2013 season. So far this year, Cal Poly has more then doubled its overall win total from 2012 (4-26) with a 10-11 record. In conference, the Mustangs have eclipsed last season's total by one with a 4-4 record.

Overall in Stats.... :  Entering this week In hitting percentage, Taylor Gruenewald and Chelsea Hardin were sixth and eighth with a .314 and .302 hitting percentage respectively... In kills per set, Hardin was fifth at 3.11 with Megan McConnell eighth with 2.97... In assists sophomore Maddie Kuber was sixth with 9.67 assists per set while senior Jennifer Keddy was fifth with 0.32 aces per set  and senior Steffi Sooter 10th (0.26)...

In Conference Play Only... : In Big West conference matches only... Cal Poly is ranked fifth in hitting percentage .229, third in assists 12.93, fifth in blocks (2.14) and digs (15.34), third in kills (13.69) and second in service aces (1.28)... On the individual side... Taylor Gruenewald is third (.346) in hitting percentage... In kills, McConnell is seventh (3.03).... Maddie Kuber is third in assists (10.54) with Jennifer Keddy and Mconnell are second (0.50) and fifth (0.31) respectively in aces per set...

Big Opening in Big West...:  The Mustangs opened Big West Conference play 2-0 for the first time since 2010 season...
 
A Dig or Two... :  Senior Steffi Sooter seems to have found her form from a year ago when she averaged 3.17 digs per set... In the eight BWC matches she recorded 122 digs and a per set average of 4.21.... For the season she averages 3.08 digs per set...  

Setting it Up...:  Second-year head coach Sam Crosson has made the use of two setters this season with sophomore Maddie Kuber playing 60 sets and junior Shannon Garrett 36 sets.... Kuber dishes out 9.67 assists per set while Garrett hands out 6.89 assists... Kuber and Garrett also check in with 1.73 and 1.33 digs per set respectively.... In BWC matches Kuber dishes out 10.54 assists per set...

Nice to be Home...:  After opening the season with 13 matches on the road... Cal Poly returned home for a pair of wins in front of some nice crowds... In the conference opener against UC Irvine, 1,383 fans were there to watch the three set win... The next night the fans backed it up with 1,023 against Long Beach State.... Cal Poly is now 2-2 on the season at home after this past week.

Schleis-ing it up....: Sophomore Hannah Schleis is third on the team with 2.69 kills per set ... She tallied a season high 20 kills in the win over Baylor... At the ASU tournament, she tallied 11 kills on 23 swings (.435) in the win over Alabama State and 16 kills in the win over Louisiana-Monroe.... In conference play she averages 2.62 kills while hitting .188...  

Who is are the Opponents...: Currently there are five teams on this year's schedule who are ranked or receiving votes in the AVCA Coaches Poll.... Stanford is currently the top ranked opponent at No. 6 with Colorado State at No. 9... Hawai'i is ranked No. 13, Cal at No. 22... and Cal State Northridge in the polls for the first time at No. 24....  

Missing In Action...:  In the first set in the match against UC Davis, senior Chelsea Hardin left the match with an injured finger and will be out of action for a few weeks.. The senior entered the match leading the team with 3.11 kills per set and hitting .302....

Missing in Action II :  What Cal Poly is missing this season and missed last season... Jennifer Keddy, a two-time AVCA All-America selection, was named the 2011 Big West Conference Player of the Year when she led the conference with 4.06 kills per set. The 6-4 middle blocker was also third in hitting percentage with a .339 clip and blocks with a 1.22 average. Keddy's 4.85 points per set average ranks first in the Big West and 22nd in the nation. Her all-around skills include 1.76 digs per set with her career-high 19 coming against UC Irvine. She was also selected for the national A2 team.

ASU All-Tournament: True freshman Tayor Gruenewald and senior Chelsea Hardin earned all-tournament honors when they each tallied 38 kills in the three-set tournament... Gruenewald averaged 3.17 kills while hitting .318.. She added eight total kills... For Gruenwald it was her second all-tournament selection (Sacramento State Tournament) this season... Hardin averaged 3.17 kills while hitting .438... It was also her second all-tournament selection (Sacramento State Tournament)...

ASU Tournament II :   Steffi Sooter averaged 4.58 digs per set at the ASU tourney... She tallied a total of 55 digs in the three matches... For the season she has 118 digs (2.41)....

Cal Tournament by the Numbers: Senior Chelsea Hardin led the team in the three matches at the Cal tournament this past weekend with 3.30 kills while hitting .247. Megan McConnell added 2.70 kills and 2.90 digs with Jen Keddy recording 2.40 kills and 0.80 blocks.  

Besting Last Year: With the two wins at the ASU tournament, Cal Poly surpassed its win total from a season ago.... and now in conference play only needs one more win to match last season's conference total...  

Breaking it Down by Class...:  Seniors 6 -- Kate Walters, Megan McConnell, Jennifer Keddy, Chelsea Hardin, Steffi Sooter and Marianne Gera..
Juniors 2 -- Stacia Williams and Shannon Garrett...
Sophomores 4 --Hannah Schleis, Katie Conroy, Nicole Kessler and Maddie Kuber...
Freshman 6 -- Shannon Fouts, Kristen Witous, Taylor Gruenewald, Anna Gorman, Lexi Reddick, Lauren Pluim...

Sophomore Step in Time...:  Sophomore Nicole's Kessler is a bit of a legacy when it comes to Cal Poly...  Aunt, Lynn Kessler, was a standout player for the Mustangs in the 80's under head coach Mike Wilton...  

McConnell is the MVP: Cal Poly senior Megan McConnell powered the Mustangs to the Sacramento State Tournament Championship by going undefeated in the tourney (3-0). She tallied 44 kills on 129 swings in the tournament (.225), including a career-high 20 kills in the win over San Jose State. She added a pair of double-doulbes in the tournament. Her all-around game included eight assists, two aces and four total blocks.

All-Tournament: Senior Chelsea Hardin earned all-tournament honors at the Sac State tourney... In the three matches she averaged 2.83 kills while hitting .389 in the 12 sets. She also added five assisted blocks... She led the team with 18 kills against Sacramento State and had 13 kills on 17 swings  (.647) against Central Connecticut State...

All-Tournament II: True freshman Taylor Gruenewald also was selected to the all-tournament team at the Sac State tourney... In the three matches she averaged 2.42 kills and 0.75 blocks per set... Her kills came on 53 swings (eight errors), hitting .396 in the tourney... In the five-set win over Sac State, Gruenewald tallied 13 kills that came on 21 swings (one error) for a .571 hitting percentage. She also recorded four total blocks (one solo) in the match.