SAN LUIS OBISPO – Freshman Caihla Petiprin (right) recorded a team-best 10 kills and fellow middle blocker Taylor Gruenewald added nine, but the Cal Poly volleyball program – after taking set No. 2 against CSUN – conceded the ensuing two games and dropped a 25-18, 26-28, 25-20, 25-19 decision to the Big West Conference's second-place side on Friday evening inside Mott Athletics Center.
Junior outside hitter Hannah Schleis added eight more kills for Cal Poly (7-9, 2-4), which was held to a .137 hitting mark during the match and led just once after squaring the contest with its second-set victory. CSUN (13-4, 4-1), meanwhile, overcame 16 serving error by hitting .292.
Neither side led the opening set by more than two points until a 7-2 run by CSUN broke a 15-15 deadlock. The Matadors, who hit a match-best 400 in set No. 1, then recorded three of the ensuing four points for the 25-18 victory.
Cal Poly rebounded in set No. 2 and, keyed by two early Gruenewald kills, leapt out to an 8-3 lead. CSUN, however, chalked up the set's next seven points after receiving kills from four different players. Still leading at 15-11, CSUN committed four hitting errors and three serving errors during a 12-point stretch to allow Cal Poly to knot the score at 19-19. Kills by Petiprin and freshman setter Taylor Nelson helped Cal Poly then go up 22-19 and the Mustangs fought back four additional tied scorelines to win the set, 28-26.
After opening a 4-1 lead in set No. 3, however, Cal Poly conceded a 7-3 run to lose its final advantage. The Mustangs recovered to tie the set at 20-20, but CSUN racked up the game's final five points.
The Mustangs then trailed set No. 4 wire-to-wire en route to defeat.
Nelson added a team-high 25 assists and seven kills for Cal Poly, which completes a two-match home stand against Big West-leading Long Beach State on Saturday, Oct. 18 at 7 p.m.
Photo courtesy of Paul Brenneman