SAN LUIS OBISPO – Sophomore middle blocker Taylor Gruenewald led the Cal Poly volleyball team with 10 kills while freshmen Caihla Petiprin and Raeann Greisen (right) added nine apiece, but the Mustangs – after capturing Saturday's second set – dropped the next two and their Big West Conference home-opening match to UC Davis inside Mott Athletics Center, 25-20, 23-25, 25-15, 25-20.
Petiprin also hit a match-best .571 with just one error and freshman setter Taylor Nelson added 36 assists for Cal Poly (5-7, 0-2), which was held to a .076 hitting percentage as a team.
Thanks to five Greisen kills, the Mustangs leapt out to an 8-4 advantage in set No. 1 and still held a four-point cushion at 12-8 before UC Davis produced a 7-3 run to square the game. Kills by UC Davis junior outside hitter Kaylin Squyres helped keep the scoreline tied at 17-17 before a Mustang hitting error and Aggie ace put the visitors in front for good.
Cal Poly again grabbed the early lead in set No. 2 before an 8-2 Aggie run put UC Davis in front, 11-9. However, three successive UC Davis hitting errors allowed Cal Poly to regain the lead and the Mustangs never trailed by more than a point the remainder of the set. With the game tied 18-18, Cal Poly utilized another Aggie error and successive kills from Gruenewald to regain the lead and square the match at a set apiece.
Cal Poly, however, trailed wire-to-wire in the third set. UC Davis opened a quick 6-1 advantage to start and Cal Poly, limited to a -.028 hitting mark, failed to close within two points of the UC Davis advantage the remainder of the set.
Set No. 4 featured 10 tied scorelines and six lead changes, the last of which was secured by UC Davis at 17-16 on an ace. The Aggies hit .444 in the set against just two errors en route to the match victory.
Led by junior libero Nicole Kessler, four Mustangs finished with double-digit dig totals.
Cal Poly closes its two-match home stand against UC Riverside on Saturday, Oct. 4 at 7 p.m.
Photo courtesy of Alexander Bohlen