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Cal Poly Outlasted by Long Beach State in Five-Set Marathon

Cal Poly Outlasted by Long Beach State in Five-Set Marathon

LONG BEACH, Calif. – Cal Poly volleyball was one set away from beating Long Beach State for the second time this season and extending its best winning streak since 2007, but fell to the 49ers in five sets (27-25, 25-14, 21-25, 23-25, 17-19) on Saturday evening in front of 957 fans inside the Walter Pyramid. Cal Poly freshman outside hitter Adlee Van Winden tied her career-high with 21 kills in defeat, while sophomore Raeann Greisen also delivered a season-high 21 kills (three away from her career-high) for the Mustangs. Sophomore setter Taylor Nelson (pictured) finished with a season-best 57 assists, one away from tying her career-high set on Sept. 27, 2014.  

Cal Poly is now 15-5 overall and 7-2 in Big West play, while the 49ers improve to 17-5 overall and 7-2 in conference. The loss snapped Cal Poly's seven match winning streak which dated back to the last time the two teams met on Oct. 2 (a span of seven matches and 28 days). 

Nele Barber led Long Beach State with 24 kills, Janelle Hudson recorded 51 assists and senior Hayley Benson produced 10 blocks.

Cal Poly opened the match with a first-set victory, 27-25, which set the tone for the remainder of the evening. After the Mustangs fell behind, 24-22, consecutive kills by Van Winden knotted the set at 24 apiece. An attack error by the 49ers, and a kill by LBSU's Peyton Grahovac evened the set at 25, when the Mustangs used a Van Winden kill and attack error by the 49ers to capture the opening set.

The second frame was all Cal Poly, as the Mustangs jumped out to a 21-8 advantage after a kill by Greisen. A kill from junior middle blocker Taylor Gruenewald gave Cal Poly the second set, 25-14, and the 2-0 match lead.

Long Beach State, though, wasn't ready to concede on its home court. The 49ers collected five of the final six points during the third set to grab a 25-21 victory over the Mustangs.

During the fourth set, a Van Winden kill provided the Mustangs a 22-19 lead, but the 49ers secured six of the final seven points to snatch the set, 25-23, tying the match at two sets apiece.

The fifth frame featured 10 tied scores, and with the set knotted at 15, kills by Hudson and Jenelle Beddingfield secured the comeback for the 49ers, 19-17.

In addition to Nelson's 57 assists, the sophomore secured 23 digs and four blocks, while sophomore libero Bailey Roach totaled three service aces for the second consecutive match. Three more Mustangs tallied double-figure dig totals, including Roach (21), senior libero Nicole Kessler (18) and Van Winden (17).

Cal Poly senior Hannah Schleis sent home 10 kills, while Gruenewald and Schleis combined for eight blocks (four apiece).

Cal Poly visits UC Santa Barbara for a 7 p.m. PT Thursday, Oct. 29 match as conference play continues next week.