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Cal Poly Entertains No. 24 Long Beach State, CSUN This Week

Cal Poly Entertains No. 24 Long Beach State, CSUN This Week

COMPLETE WEEKLY NOTES (pdf)

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – Off to its best start since the 2006 season, Cal Poly (8-4) volleyball hosts its first two Big West Conference matches of the season when welcoming No. 24 Long Beach State at 7 p.m. PT Friday and CSUN at 4 p.m. Saturday inside the Mott Athletics Center. No. 10 Hawai'i beat the Mustangs in three sets last week in the conference opener.

Both home matches this week will be available via live stats on GoPoly.com with THIS LINK.

Cal Poly received 12 kills apiece from sophomore outside hitter Raeann Greisen and freshman outside attacker Adlee Van Winden against the Rainbow Wahine last Saturday, while sophomore setter Taylor Nelson collected an effective double double with 26 assists and 10 digs.

CAL POLY VERSUS LONG BEACH STATE: The Mustangs have matched up with the 49ers 55 previous times, with Long Beach State holding a 37-18 overall edge. The first matchup between the two came on Sept. 29, 1979. Last season, the 49ers took six out of seven sets from the Mustangs, with LBSU claiming a 3-1 win in San Luis Obispo and a three-set sweep in Long Beach. The last Cal Poly home victory over Long Beach State occurred on Sept. 28, 2013 when the Mustangs swept the 49ers in three sets.

CAL POLY VERSUS CSUN: The Mustangs lead the overall series with the Matadors, 27-25, with the first matchup taking place on Oct. 5, 1979. CSUN has won the last seven matchups with Cal Poly – including both matches last season – collecting a four-set win in San Luis Obispo and a three-set triumph in Northridge. The last Cal Poly victory over the Matadors came nearly four years ago during a 3-1 win on Oct. 13, 2011 on the central coast.

SCOUTING LONG BEACH STATE: Long Beach State (12-3, 2-0) entered the AVCA Coaches Poll Top 25 for the first time this season last week and solidified its national ranking (No. 24 on Sept. 28) with two convincing victories to open conference play. Junior outside hitter Nele Barber led all attackers with 20 kills against UCI, and leads all 49ers with 224 kills this season. Her 3.93 kills per set average are good for third among all conference players. Senior setter Janelle Hudson has amassed a team-best 587 assists (10.30/set) this year, while Barber's 170 digs leads a balanced LBSU defense this season (five players boast 100-plus digs).

SCOUTING CSUN: The Matadors – despite going 1-11 during the non-conference portion of its schedule – rediscovered the magic last weekend that assisted them to 19 wins a season ago. CSUN was selected to finish fourth this season behind only Hawai'i, Long Beach State and UC Santa Barbara in the Big West Preseason Coaches Poll.

Senior outside hitter Cieana Stinson leads the Matadors with 182 kills this season after a match-best 22 during the four-set victory over the Aggies last week. Junior setter Maddie Leiphardt amassed 31 assists against UC Davis and has 147 helpers this year.

NELSON MOVES INTO PROGRAM RECORD BOOK: Sophomore setter Taylor Nelson has etched her name in the program record book with 1,336 career assists, good for No. 10 on the all-time career assist list. After a freshman season that witnessed 880 helpers, her 456 assists this season moved her into exclusive company. Nelson is 154 assists away from Sarah Cawrse (2009-11) at No. 9.

VAN WINDEN KILLING IT: Cal Poly freshman outside hitter Adlee Van Winden is on pace to break into the program's Top 10 in seasons kills per set average. Currently, Van Winden is averaging 3.82 kills per set which is just outside (3.85 is No. 10) the ten-best season marks in Mustang history.

SWEEPING SUCCESS: With two sweep victories during all of last season, Cal Poly has already secured four such wins this year. The last time the Mustangs produced more than three sweep victories in a single season was 2013 when Cal Poly earned five.

ADLEE ALREADY ACHIEVING: During her first 12 collegiate matches, Van Winden has amassed 172 kills, which includes eight successive matches with double-digit kill totals. The true freshman has already been named the Big West Conference Freshman Player of the Week three times this season and her kill total is good for fifth among all Big West attackers. Van Winden's 3.82 kills/set place also place her fifth in the conference entering the week.

NELSON KNOWS ASSISTS: Nelson has 456 assists through the season's initial 12 matches – an average of 10.60 per set – good for first among all Big West Conference players heading into the week. The PrepVolleyball.com's National Player of the Year in 2013 tallied a season-best 52 assists twice this season, against Portland on Sept. 12 and Sacramento State on Aug. 29. Against No. 11 Hawai'i on Saturday night, Nelson amassed 26 assists during a three-set defeat. The sophomore has now amassed 1,336 assists during her collegiate career, after an 880-assist campaign as a freshman last season.

TO THEME OR NOT TO THEME: Every Cal Poly volleyball home match this season features a theme, including an Oct. 10 Blue-Green Rivalry matchup against UC Santa Barbara that encourages all fans in attendance to wear green for a "Green Out". Cal Poly's match on Oct. 16 versus Cal State Fullerton is a "Pink Out" game, with all fans in attendance encouraged to wear pink.

EXPERIENCE KEY TO CAL POLY IN 2015: Key returners for the Mustangs this season include sophomore Raeann Greisen (San Diego, Calif.), who was named to the All-Big West Conference Freshman Team after a 359 kill campaign, and senior Nicole Kessler (San Diego, Calif.), who boasted the second-most digs (444) among all conference players a season ago. Sophomore Taylor Nelson (Granite Bay, Calif.) produced a team-high 14 double-doubles in 2014 and provides Cal Poly with a steady offensive weapon (team-best 880 assists to go along with 232 digs and 135 kills).

Junior middle blocker Taylor Gruenewald (Southlake, TX) has been a mainstay amidst the Mustang rotation during her first two seasons and returns a wealth of production, including a combined 500 kills during her freshman and sophomore years. Senior outside hitter Hannah Schleis (Boise, ID) registered 124 kills a season ago, while sophomore middle blocker Caihla Petiprin (Carlsbad, Calif.) provided 164 kills and a team-best 73 blocks last season.

THREE FRESHMAN AND ONE TRANSFER JOIN THE ROSTER IN 2015: Three incoming freshman and one transfer recruit join the Cal Poly roster, which includes Adlee Van Winden (Napa, Calif.), Jillian Desmond (Aurora, Colo.), Katherine Brouker (Santee, Calif.) and Alexis Clewis (Valencia, Calif.).

A LOOK AHEAD (OCT. 5-OCT. 11): Cal Poly continues conference action when traveling south to battle UC Irvine on Thursday, Oct. 8 at 7 p.m. before returning home to host Blue-Green rival UC Santa Barbara at 7 p.m. on Saturday evening.