SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – Less than 24 hours after handing No. 24 Long Beach State its first Big West defeat in nearly two years, Cal Poly volleyball swept CSUN behind 14 kills from sophomore outside hitter Raeann Greisen (pictured) on Saturday afternoon inside the Mott Athletic Center. Cal Poly freshman outside hitter Adlee Van Winden secured 12 kills – her 13th match this season with a double-figure kill total (in 14) – and sophomore setter Taylor Nelson produced a match-high 39 assists.
Saturday's victory over CSUN is Cal Poly's first against the Matadors since Oct. 13, 2011. The Mustangs didn't trail at any point during the three sets on Saturday and carried the momentum over from Friday's victory over the 49ers.
Cal Poly hit .340 during the three-set victory, while CSUN managed an attack percentage of only .142. The Mustangs blocked 10 shots to CSUN's four and delivered four service aces for the second consecutive match.
With the triumph, Cal Poly improves to 10-4 overall this season and 2-1 in conference play. CSUN suffered its first conference loss of the season and enters next week with a 4-12 overall record (3-1 in conference).
Cal Poly's 10-4 record to open the season is the program's best 14-match start since 2010.
On Saturday, Cal Poly and CSUN took the same number of swings (106), but it was the Mustangs who were the aggressors for the second straight day. Cal Poly sent home 46 kills with only 10 attack errors, while the Matadors collected 34 kills with 19 errors.
To open the match, Cal Poly leaped to an 8-2 advantage after a Van Winden kill, and with the Mustangs leading 14-8, a Greisen kill provided Cal Poly with its biggest advantage of the afternoon. CUSN would get as close as 19-12 after a kill by Nada Dragovic, but the Mustangs turned on the momentum from there and secured six of the final eight points for a 25-14, first-set triumph. Greisen sent home five of her 14 kills during the opening frame and collectively the Mustangs hit .448.
For the second consecutive set, Cal Poly never trailed against the Matadors, and after a Van Winden kill, led 13-9. Consecutive kills by senior outside hitter Hannah Schleis and Van Winden catapulted the Mustangs to a 17-12 advantage. CSUN closed the deficit to 21-18 after a Cal Poly attack error, but successive kills by sophomore middle Savannah Niemen and Greisen provided the Mustangs with a 23-18 lead. After the Matadors closed the gap to 24-22, and with CSUN serving, Van Winden sent home another kill on an assist from Nelson to secure the 25-22 second-set victory and two-sets-to-none match advantage.
The third set was similar to the initial two – Cal Poly failed to lose a lead and the Matadors were never able to draw even – as the Mustangs surged to a 12-6 lead after a kill by Schleis. Cal Poly ended CSUN's afternoon early after a Greisen kill supplied the 25-17, third-set win and sweep victory. Greisen tallied five kills during the third frame, Van Winden compiled four and Nelson supplied 13 assists. Freshman libero Katherine Brouker amassed seven digs in the final set, with senior libero Nicole Kessler chipping in with six digs. Cal Poly had six block assists in the third set alone, including two from Niemen.
Cal Poly hit .448 in the first set, .270 in the second and .325 in the third; CSUN hit .138 in the opening set, .206 in the second and .093 in the third.
In addition to her four blocks, Niemen had eight kills against the Matadors, while junior middle Taylor Gruenewald supplied a match-best five blocks. Schleis finished with seven kills, three blocks and two digs for the Mustangs.
Cal Poly plays a pair of conference matches next week, and opens with a 7 p.m. PT Thursday, Oct. 8 matchup at UC Irvine and returns home for a 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 10 clash with Blue-Green Rival UC Santa Barbara inside the Mott Athletics Center.
Photo credit: Alexander Bohlen.