Mustangs Battle Tough, Fall to No. 14 Oregon

Mustangs Battle Tough, Fall to No. 14 Oregon

EUGENE, Ore. — The Cal Poly volleyball team lost its opening match of the Nike Classic, falling in a tough battle against the host school, No. 14 Oregon in three sets (25-22, 25-20, 25-20).

The Mustangs (5-2) got off to a strong start to open the first set, scoring the first four points. After getting an 11-5 lead early on, the Ducks (5-1) went on a 6-0 run to tie it at 11 apiece. It was a back-and-forth set after that. Late in the set, Cal Poly scored three straight points to get it back to 22-23; but Oregon got the next two points to win the set.

In the first set, the Mustangs had 13 attack errors. Oregon, meanwhile, had eight blocks in the opening set.

Early in the second set, Cal Poly scored four straight points to go up 9-5. Later, with the Mustangs up 12-9, the Ducks went on an 8-0 run to go up 17-12. Cal Poly got it back to as close as 18-20 but Oregon would go on to win the set 25-20.

The Mustangs got out to an early 3-1 lead in the third, but the Ducks would score five straight points go up 6-3. Later in the set, after a Cal Poly timeout down 9-17, the Mustangs would score five straight points to get it to within three thanks to three attack errors by Oregon. Cal Poly would get as close as 19-22 but Oregon would go on to win 25-20.

"I thought the first two sets and even the third set, we had a good mentality," head coach Sam Crosson said. "(We) can execute and score points against good teams. Coming out of the gate to start the sets off strong was a good sign for us moving forward."

Sophomore outside hitter Torrey Van Winden led the Mustangs with a team-high 12 kills to go along with five digs. Junior outside hitter Adlee Van Winden chipped in with 11 kills and a team-high six digs. Senior setter Taylor Nelson led Cal Poly in assists with 29.

The Ducks as a team hit .289 and had 13 blocks. They were led by Taylor Agost, who had 11 kills and four blocks. Teammate Willow Johnson had 10 kills and a team-high six blocks.

The Mustangs return to the court Friday to continue Nike Classic play. They will take on Duquesne at 6 p.m.