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Mustangs Fall to No. 22 Rams in Homewood Suites Classic Opener

Mustangs Fall to No. 22 Rams in Homewood Suites Classic Opener

FORT COLLINS, Colo. — Playing its final matches of non-conference play this week, the Cal Poly volleyball team dropped the opener of the Homewood Suites UNC/CSU Volleyball Classic Thursday to No. 22 Colorado State 3-0 (25-15, 25-10, 25-16).

It was also the fourth AVCA Top 25 opponent Cal Poly has faced in their first 10 matches. The Mustangs are now 1-3 in those matches.

The Rams (8-1), who came into the match the nation's leader in opponent hitting percentage, held the Mustangs (5-5) to a -.072 percentage while they hit .310. Cal Poly, who came into the match 15th in the nation in service aces, were held to three for the match. Colorado State also had the advantage in the blocking category, finishing with 16.5 compared to the Mustangs' 5.5.

The Mustangs were led by junior outside hitter Maia Dvoracek, who finished with eight kills and six digs. Sophomore setter Avalon DeNecochea led the way in assists with 15 and sophomore defensive specialist Lea Ungar had a team-high nine digs.

Cal Poly kept it close in the early goings of the first set. However, tied at 5, five straight points by the Rams put them up 10-5. After the Mustangs cut it to 10-7, Colorado State went on an 8-2 run to take an 18-9 lead. The Rams never looked back from there, going on to win the set 25-15.

In the second set, Colorado State jumped out to an early 8-1 lead. Thanks in large part to the Rams' strong defense, Cal Poly struggled to get anything going offensively. After the Mustangs cut the lead to 15-9, Colorado State closed the set on a 10-1 run to win the set 25-10. For the set, the Rams outhit Cal Poly .357 to -.138.

To begin the third set, Colorado State once again started strong. The Rams got out to a 9-2 lead and later held a lead as big as 17-7. The Mustangs continued to battle, cutting the lead to 18-11 with a 4-1 run. However, it would not be enough as the Rams went on to win the set 25-16.

Cal Poly will look to rebound Friday when it travels to Greeley, Colo. to take on the co-host of the tournament, Northern Colorado at 6 p.m. PT.