SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – The Cal Poly volleyball team came back from a 2-1 deficit only to fall in the fifth and deciding set to UC Irvine in a Big West Conference match in Mott Gym on Saturday. Set scores went 27-29, 25-18, 29-27, 21-25 and 15-11.
With the loss Cal Poly falls to 10-15 overall and 5-7 in conference matches while UC Irvine improves to 10-14 overall and 4-8 in Big West contests.
Junior Jennifer Keddy set two career-highs, but it would not be enough for the Mustangs. Keddy recorded 28 kills and 19 digs, both career-highs. Cal Poly had only one other player with double figure kills, Kristina Graven, with 18.
UCI had four players with 10 or more kills led by Aly Squires with 16. Shanina Olsen and Pauline Acres each added 14 with Arielle Manz chipping in with 13.
In a defensive battle Cal Poly recorded a season-high 104 digs with UCI checking in with 101. Six Mustangs had 10 or more digs led by Lauren Law's career-high 27. Freshman Shannon Garrett and Keddy each added 19 while Graven recorded 15 digs. Catie Smith and Molly Pon tallied 11 and 10 digs respectively.
UCI's Kritin Winkler led all players with 33 digs.
UCI hit .192 with six aces while the Mustangs hit .171 with five.
Cal Poly controlled the net with 15 total blocks with Megan McConnell getting credit for 11 assisted blocks. UCI tallied nine team blocks with Olsen leading the way with two solo and three assisted blocks.
The first set was a hard fought battle with 17 ties and five lead changes. Cal Poly hit .200 while UCI hit .204 with Keddy recording nine kills in the set.
After an early battle in the second set, UCI pulled away and was in control while hitting only .156 compared to the Mustangs .049.
Coming out of the break the third set was a repeat of the first with 16 ties and eight lead changes with the Mustangs fighting off three set points while missing on two set points of their own.
The Mustangs battled back and tied the match with a fourth set win, 25-21, that had the Mustangs in control most of the set. Cal Poly hit .239 with UCI hitting .208.
The fifth set was a back and fourth battle with seven ties and three lead changes with the score tied at 9-9 when UCI took control and out scored the Mustangs 6-2 down the stretch.
Cal Poly will return to the court on Friday, Nov. 11 when the team hosts UC Riverside in the team's final home match of the season. Prior to the start of the match Cal Poly will honor the team's three seniors; Catie Smith, Sarah Cawrse and Lauren Law.
The team will conclude the regular season when they return to the road with matches at UC Santa Barbara (Nov. 12), UC Riverside (Nov. 18) and at Cal State Northridge (Nov. 19).