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Mustangs Sweep UC Riverside on the Road, Remain Tied Atop Big West

Mustangs Sweep UC Riverside on the Road, Remain Tied Atop Big West

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Behind a match-high 16 kills from junior outside hitter Maia Dvoracek (pictured) and having one its most efficient offensive matches of the season, the Cal Poly volleyball team swept UC Riverside on the road Thursday night (25-16, 25-13, 25-20) to move to 7-1 so far in Big West play.

The win was the Mustangs' (14-6, 7-1 BW) 12th straight over the Highlanders (5-14, 1-7 BW) and keeps Cal Poly tied for first in the Big West standings with UC Santa Barbara who is now also 7-1 after sweeping UC Davis Thursday.

For the match, Cal Poly hit .367 as a team which is its second-highest hitting percentage match of the season and had a season-low nine attack errors.

Dvoracek had a very efficient 16 kills on the night. She finished the match hitting a career-best .696 and also added five digs. Senior outside hitter Jessica McRoskey also had double-digit kills, finishing with 11 on a .391 hitting percentage while fellow senior outside hitter Nikki Jackson added eight kills. Sophomore setter Avalon DeNecochea dished out a match-high 31 assists to go with seven digs and two service aces. Defensively, Cal Poly was led by sophomore defensive specialist Lea Ungar who finished with 10 digs while senior libero Mika Dickson added nine digs.

UC Riverside opened the first set with a 5-2 lead. However, down 5-7, Cal Poly scored five consecutive points to go up 10-7. The Highlanders then trimmed the lead to two points and remained that way for a while until, up 15-13, the Mustangs pulled away thanks to a 7-1 run to take a 22-14 lead. Thanks in part to hitting .429 for the set, Cal Poly won it 25-16.

The Mustangs were most dominant in the second set in which they led the entire way. They started by getting out to a 4-1 advantage and later a 10-3 lead. They then went up 11 points at 17-6 thanks to a 7-3 run. Cal Poly didn't look back from there, leading by as many as 12 points before going on to win the set 25-13. In the set, the Mustangs hit .419 and committed just two attacking errors.

Up 5-4 in the third set, Cal Poly made its push with a 5-1 run to take a 10-5 lead. They went on to go up by as many as nine points at 19-10. The Highlanders made a late push and were able to cut the lead to as little as four points at 24-20. However, a kill by Dvoracek ended the set 25-20 and completed the sweep for Cal Poly.

The Mustangs now make the trek up to northern California to take on UC Davis on Saturday at 7 p.m. The Aggies are currently in the fourth in the Big West after suffering their first loss of the season at home to UCSB Thursday night.