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Mustangs Complete Comeback to Defeat Hawai’i in Five Sets

HONOLULU— Torrey Van Winden's sixth double-double of the season helped lead Cal Poly to a thrilling five-set comeback victory after dropping the first two sets against Hawai'i to give the Mustangs its 11th straight win (25-16, 25-22, 25-15.25-22, 15-9) in front of a packed house at the Stan Sheriff Center.

It is the Mustangs (16-2, 6-0) fifth win all-time against the Rainbow Wahine (11-6, 5-1) and the first since 2006. Cal Poly now sits alone at the top of the Big West standings at 6-0.

The first set saw Hawai'i get out to a quick 9-3 lead. Cal Poly got it back to 14-11 but thanks to five blocks, a .351 hitting percentage and only two attack errors, the Rainbow Wahine were able to win the first set 25-16.

Tied at four in the second set, Hawai'i scored five straight points to go up 9-4. Down 10-5, the Mustangs would score nine straight points to go up 15-10. Hawai'i would tie it at 14 and the teams would trade points until, up 21-20, the Rainbow Wahine scored four of the last six points to win 25-22.

The Mustangs would turn it around in the third, getting out to a 9-1 lead early on. Hawai'i would get it back to as close as 13-8 but Cal Poly would extend the lead to 22-13 and wouldn't let up, winning the set 25-15. The Mustangs hit .385 in the third while only committing two attack errors.

"The girls hashed out what they needed and came out in the third set as an entirely different team," head coach Sam Crosson said.

Cal Poly got out to a 12-5 lead to begin the third set before a Rainbow Wahine run got it back to 13-11. The Mustangs would stretch the lead to 22-16 before another Hawai'i run cut the lead to 22-21. Up 24-22, an Adlee Van Winden kill would finish the set to force the fifth and deciding set.

The teams would trade points to begin the fifth set before Cal Poly would take an 8-5 lead as the teams switched sides. The Mustangs would extend the lead to 13-7, then up 14-9, Torrey Van Winden's 25th kill would complete the comeback for the Mustangs. Cal Poly hit .407 and only committed one error in the final set.

The sophomore finished with a match-high 25 kills (18 of those coming in the final three sets) to go along with 13 digs, hitting .312 for the match. Junior Adlee Van Winden also put up a double-double with 14 kills and 17 digs as well as a team-high three aces.

Reigning Big West Player of the Week Taylor Nelson lead the way in assists with 50 to go along with 12 digs. Senior Raeann Greisen added 12 kills and junior libero Katherine Brouker finished with a season-high 26 digs.

"The overall ability of this group to come together when facing adversity is a very positive characteristic they have developed," Crosson said. "We were at the lowest of lows and the highest of highs in this match."

Hawai'i was lead by McKenna Granato who lead the Rainbow Wahine with 20 kills and Emily Maglio who finished with 11 kills and 10 blocks.

Cal Poly is now 2-0 in five-set matches this year. The Mustangs came back to win after losing the first two sets to No. 23 Wichita State earlier in the season.

The Mustangs get a full week to prepare for its next opponent. They will travel to Santa Barbara next Saturday, October 14 to play UCSB at 5 p.m.