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Mustangs Get Five-Set Road Win Over Northern Colorado Friday

Mustangs Get Five-Set Road Win Over Northern Colorado Friday

GREELEY, Colo. — The Cal Poly volleyball team won its fourth five-set match of the season Friday after a 3-2 road victory over Northern Colorado in its second match of the Homewood Suites UNC/CSU Volleyball Classic.

Junior outside hitter Maia Dvoracek had a team-high 14 kills to go along with eight digs and two aces. The Mustangs (6-5) also got strong contributions from their middle blockers as sophomore Meredith Phillips finished with 13 kills, hitting .478 and a match-high seven blocks while junior Madilyn Mercer added nine kills, hitting .350and three blocks. Sophomore setter Avalon DeNecochea dished out 41 assists while also contributing eight kills, hitting .412, seven digs and three blocks. Redshirt freshman Nicole Cavote finished with a career-high seven kills and sophomore defensive specialist Lea Ungar had a team-high 11 digs.

The Mustangs and Bears (6-6) traded sets, with Cal Poly winning the first, third and fifth. The Mustangs are now 4-1 in five-set matches this season.

As a team, Cal Poly outhit Northern Colorado .259 to .246, led in blocks 10 to nine, and led in service aces six to two.

The early part of the first set was back-and-forth, with both teams trading small runs. Tied at 16, a 4-1 run by the Mustangs put them up 20-17. The Bears then responded with a 4-2 run to cut the lead to 22-21. From there, three straight points by Cal Poly, capped off by a kill from senior Nikki Jackson won the set 25-21.

Northern Colorado opened the second set by getting out to a 10-4 lead. Later up 11-6, the Bears scored five straight points to take a 10 point lead. They didn't look back from there and went on to win the set 25-12.

The Mustangs turned the tables in the third set and began by taking a 4-1 lead. Leading 5-3, Cal Poly used an 8-3 run to go up 13-6. Up 17-11, the Mustangs pulled away thanks to a 6-3 run. At 24-16, a block from Phillips and DeNecochea capped off the set win. The set was one of Cal Poly's best of the season offensively. The Mustangs hit .586 while committing zero attack errors.

The fourth set was tightly contested throughout. Tied at 14, Cal Poly scored back-to-back points to go up 16-14. The Bears then scored three straight points to take a 17-16 lead. Tied at 19, Northern Colorado again put up three unanswered points and regain the lead at 22-19. With the Bears up 23-21, they sealed the set win with two straight points to force a deciding fifth set.

The Mustangs came out strong to start the fifth, getting out to a 7-2 advantage. Northern Colorado then went on a 4-1 run to cut the lead to 8-6. Cal Poly then went on a 4-1 run of its own to take a controlling 12-7 lead. After the Bears cut it to 13-10, the Mustangs came out of a timeout and scored back-to-back points to win the set 15-10.

Cal Poly wraps up both the tournament and its non-conference schedule Saturday. The Mustangs take on Oregon State at 9 a.m. PT from Fort Collins, Colo. on the campus of Colorado State.