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Cal Poly Wins Fourth Match in a Row, 3-1 Over Northern Illinois

Cal Poly Wins Fourth Match in a Row, 3-1 Over Northern Illinois

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — The Cal Poly volleyball team earned its fourth win in a row Friday evening, 3-1 over Northern Illinois (25-23, 28-26, 20-25, 25-21) in Mott Athletics Center.

Taylor Nelson led the Mustangs (5-4) with 18 kills and 24 assists, while fellow freshman Raeann Greisen added 14 kills, 15 digs and three blocks.

Maddie Kuber also had 24 assists (along with 11 digs). Strong defensive matches were also had by Nicole Kessler (with 26 digs) and Bailey Roach (10).

Taylor Gruenewald added eight kills in the victory.

In the first set, a Lauren Zielinski kill gave the Huskies (7-5) an 11-10 lead, but Cal Poly then went on a 5-0 run. Greisen sparked it with a kill off a Kuber set; then three of the next four points came on kills by Nelson, prompting a timeout by NIU (which got no closer than 20-18 the rest of the way).

In Set 2, the Huskies maintained a steady advantage, peaking at 23-19 on a Mackenzie Roddy kill.

The Mustangs wouldn't go away, though, as Nelson eventually set up Greisen for a kill when facing set point, followed by back-to-back Nelson kills to provide a 25-24 lead. Cal Poly didn't trail again, closing it out on a another pair of successive Nelson kills — both of which were assisted by Kuber.

After a third game featuring 11 ties, the Mustangs regrouped following a 6-3 deficit in the fourth set. Coming out of a timeout, Greisen put down a kill to ignite a 5-1 surge of momentum to regain the advantage.

Although NIU rallied for a 15-10 lead, the Mustangs countered to tie it at 17-all before back-to-back kills from Gruenewald made it 19-17. Cal Poly held on down the stretch, clinching the match on two attacking errors.

The Mustangs, still undefeated at home, will return to the MAC to host Santa Clara (8-2) at 8 p.m. Saturday.