RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Four players delivered at least seven kills, led by freshman outside hitter Adlee Van Winden's nine and sophomore setter Taylor Nelson recorded 31 assists as Cal Poly volleyball rolled to a three-set (25-15, 25-20, 25-16) victory over UC Riverside on Friday night in UCR's Student Recreation Center. The Mustangs improved to 18-6 overall and 10-3 in conference play, while the Highlanders dropped to 9-17 and 4-9.
Cal Poly did not drop a single set to UC Riverside during the season series, after collecting a three-set triumph over the Highlanders on Oct. 17. For the Mustangs, it's the 10th victory this season via sweep, which equals the most three-set triumphs since the 2008 season.
In addition to Van Winden, Cal Poly junior middle blocker Taylor Gruenewald along with sophomore middle blocker Savannah Niemen and sophomore outside hitter Raeann Greisen all amassed seven kills in the win.
For UC Riverside, Helena Peric led all attackers with 11 kills, Chelsea Doyle had 30 assists and Maddie Hubbell delivered 12 digs.
During the opening frame, Cal Poly grabbed a 20-14 lead and outscored the Highlanders, 5-1 the rest of the way to take a 1-0 set advantage. Mustang sophomore middle blocker Savannah Niemen and Van Winden (pictured) each amassed four kills during the initial set, while Nelson compiled 11 assists and freshman libero Katherine Brouker delivered five digs.
Cal Poly took a 14-10 lead in the second set after a combined block by senior Hannah Schleis and junior Taylor Gruenewald. A service ace by Nelson gave the Mustangs a 19-13 advantage, but UCR recorded three consecutive points to prompt a Mustang timeout. Cal Poly used a 6-4 run to collect the second and with it, a commanding 2-0 set lead. Nelson had 13 assists in the second frame, while Van Winden recorded four kills.
Through the first two sets, Cal Poly hit a combined .353 overall with only five attack errors.
Cal Poly took an 11-8 lead in the third after an ace by Kessler and an attack error by UCR. The Mustangs pulled away during a 14-8 run to secure the three-set win and match triumph. Kessler recorded her second ace of the match for the finishing touch on Cal Poly's victory.
The Mustangs had eight service aces on Friday, including two apiece from Nelson, Niemen and sophomore libero Bailey Roach.
Cal Poly continues its two-match road trip when visiting Cal State Fullerton at 7 p.m. Saturday. The matchup with the Titans can be viewed on ESPN3 with THIS LINK and live stats will be available through GoPoly.com.