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Cal Poly Volleyball Program Opens Training Camp Tuesday Afternoon

Cal Poly Volleyball Program Opens Training Camp Tuesday Afternoon

SAN LUIS OBISPO – A year removed from the program's highest Big West Conference finish in five years and returning six starters, the Cal Poly volleyball team opens preparations for the 2016 season on Tuesday, Aug. 9.

The Mustangs will enjoy 27 training sessions prior to departing for the program's three season-opening matches at the Aug. 26-27 BYU Invitational. Cal Poly opens the regular season versus Rice on Friday, Aug. 26 at 2 p.m. PT.

Cal Poly's returning group of starters from a 2015 squad that finished third in the Big West and produced 19 victories includes senior middle blocker Taylor Gruenewald, junior setter Taylor Nelson, junior outside hitter Raeann Greisen, junior middle blocker Savannah Niemen, junior libero Bailey Roach and sophomore outside hitter Adlee Van Winden.

An All-Big West first team selection last year, Gruenewald was Cal Poly's leading blocker in 2015 with 0.83 per set. Also an All-Big West first team selection in 2015, Nelson finished second among conference players in assists per set (10.73), assists (1,052) and, after just two seasons, ranks seventh in program history with 1,932 career assists. Cal Poly's third all-conference first team honoree in 2015, Greisen ranked seventh among Big West hitters in kills per set (3.21) and kills (321).

One of three Mustangs to appear in all 100 sets last year alongside Greisen and Van Winden and one of two Cal Poly players to start all 27 matches in 2015, Niemen was second in the lineup last year with a .295 hitting percentage. Roach, who started 12 times and appeared in 96 sets, averaged 2.21 digs per set in 2015. Last year's Big West Freshman of the Year honoree, Van Winden started all 27 matches and finished fourth among conference players in 2015 in kills (391) and kills per set (3.91).

The Mustangs, who return nine of 13 letterwinners from last year's squad, will also feature junior outside hitter Casey Carroll, sophomore outside hitter Alexis Clewis and sophomore libero Katherine Brouker when camp opens. Senior setter Shannon Fouts also returns to bolster Cal Poly's lineup.

Cal Poly's five-player incoming freshman class includes outside hitters Nikki Jackson (Henderson, Nev.) and Jessica McRoskey (San Diego, Calif.) and Holland Boege (San Luis Obispo, Calif.), middle blocker Nadia Retoff (Plano, Texas), setter Grace Rickard (San Diego, Calif.) and libero Mika Dickson (Colorado Springs, Colo.).