SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Riding a 12-match win streak and opening Big West play 3-0, the Cal Poly volleyball team returns home this weekend for two more conference matches against CSUN and Long Beach State.
The No. 15 Mustangs (13-1, 3-0 BWC) host the Matadors (5-9, 1-1 BWC) Friday at 7 p.m. inside Mott Athletics Center. Friday is 'Youth Night' in which all kids 13 and under get into the match for free. There will also be an autograph session with the team following the match.
The match against the 49ers (10-5, 2-0) Saturday will also start at 7 p.m. Saturday's match is the first 'Double-Up Saturday' of the year, meaning any fan who shows a ticket to the Cal Poly football game will receive free admission to the match.
Links for tickets, video, audio and live stats can be found above, on the schedule page or via the GoPoly Front Row app.
On top of its 12-match winning streak so far this season, Cal Poly has won 20 Big West matches in a row dating back to 2016. The Mustangs have also won 14 straight home matches going back to 2016.
Last week, Cal Poly opened Big West play with a sweep over UC Davis. That win was head coach Sam Crosson's 100th career victory at Cal Poly. The Mustangs followed that up with back-to-back road sweeps over Cal State Fullerton and UC Riverside.
So far this season, Cal Poly eight of the 13 wins have been via sweeps.
While the Mustangs got contributions from many different players last week, they were led by junior outside hitter Torrey Van Winden. In the three sweeps, Van Winden averaged 4.67 kills per set while hitting .419 and only committed six errors. She led the Mustangs in kills in all three matches and recorded her fourth double-double of the season against UC Davis with 14 kills and 16 digs. For the week, she totaled 42 kills, 31 digs, five blocks and three service aces. She is currently tied for first in the Big West in hitting percentage (.364) and is second in total kills (239).
CSUN began Big West play last week by beating Cal State Fullerton 3-0 before losing to Long Beach State 3-2. The Matadors are led by senior Aeryn Owens, who is fourth in the Big West in kills per set (4.20).
Cal Poly leads the all-time series record against CSUN 33-25.
Long Beach State currently sits in second place in the Big West. They started conference play by sweeping UC Riverside and beating CSUN in five sets. The 49ers are currently on a four-match win streak. As a team, they lead the conference in blocks (2.39 per set), just ahead of the Mustangs. They are also third in hitting percentage at .232. Individually, they boast the top two in the conference in blocks. Senior Emma Kirst leads the conference with 1.08 per set and junior YiZhi Xue is second with 1.07.
Long Beach State leads the all-time series 45-21.
Mustangs No. 15 In AVCA Top 25: After the fifth week of the season, Cal Poly is ranked No. 15 in the AVCA Top 25 Poll for the second straight week. Two weeks ago, the Mustangs moved up to No. 14 in the poll. That was the highest the Mustangs have been ranked since 2008 when they were also No. 14. In the AVCA Preseason Top 25, Cal Poly was ranked No. 24, the first time since 2008 Cal Poly was ranked in the Preseason Poll.
After going 27-3 last year, the Mustangs ended the season ranked No. 22 in the final AVCA Top 25 Poll. At one point during the season they were ranked as high as No. 21. In last year's AVCA Preseason Poll they were in the 'others receiving votes' category before breaking into the Top 25 October 9.
DOWN GO THE BRUINS: The wins over the No. 9 UCLA earlier this season were the first time Cal Poly beat a top-10 team since 2007 when that team beat No. 9 BYU 3-1. It was also the first time the Mustangs beat UCLA since 1985 and the third all-time.
CROSSON HITS CENTURY MARK: Seventh year head coach Sam Crosson recorded his 100th career win last week against UC Davis. In doing so, he became the fourth head coach in program history to reach the century mark.
Cal Poly Picked To Repeat As Big West Champion: After capturing its first Big West title in 10 years, Cal Poly was selected to repeat as the Big West Conference women's volleyball champion after claiming five first-place votes en route to a 77-point total, as voted on by the nine head coaches.
The University of Hawai'i secured the remaining four first-place votes to lock down the second spot with 75 points. UC Irvine followed in the third slot with 62 points, while Long Beach State registered 48 points to rank fourth and UC Santa Barbara was close behind in fifth place with 45 points. The Aggies of UC Davis nabbed 38 points for the sixth spot and was followed by CSUN (30), UC Riverside (18) and Cal State Fullerton (12).
The Mustangs are coming off a year where they posted the program's best overall record of 27-3, a perfect 16-0 Big West Conference mark and an undefeated home record for the first time since 2007. Led by 2017 AVCA Pacific North Coach of the Year Sam Crosson, Cal Poly posted its first NCAA Tournament win since 2007.
HOME SWEET HOME: Cal Poly has won 14 straight matches at Mott Athletics Center, the longest streak in program history. The Mustangs last lost at home Oct. 28, 2016.
STRONG IN CONFERENCE: Dating back to 2016, the Mustangs have won 20 consecutive Big West matches. Last season, they finished a perfect 16-0 for the first time in program history.
GET OUT THE BROOM STICKS: Eight of Cal Poly's 13 wins this season have come via sweeps. Last season, 20 of the Mustangs' 27 wins came via a sweep.
RETURNING POWER: The Mustangs return four players who earned Big West postseason awards this past season in seniors Adlee Van Winden and Katherine Brouker, junior Torrey Van Winden and sophomore Madilyn Mercer. Torrey and Adlee Van Winden were both named to the First Team All-Big West as well as AVCA All-American Honorable Mention. Brouker received Honorable Mention honors and Mercer was named to the Big West All-Freshman Team a year ago.
NEW FACES: This season the Mustangs welcome seven newcomers to the team. They added five true freshmen and two transfers, one from Duke and one from Pepperdine.
MUSTANGS AMONG NATIONAL AND CONFERENCE LEADERS: Through the first five weeks of the season, Cal Poly leads the Big West in hitting percentage (.284) (12th in the nation), assists per set (13.18), and is second in kills per set (13.88) and is second in blocks per set (2.22).
Individually, Torrey Van Winden is third in the Big West in kills (4.88 per set), good for seventh in the nation and tied for first in hitting percentage (.364). Sophomore Madilyn Mercer is fourth in the conference in blocks (1.02 per set) and freshman setter Avalon DeNecochea is second in the Big West in assists (10.08 per set).
As a team, the Mustangs concluded 2017 ranked in the nation's Top 10 in kills per set (2nd - 15.07), assists (4th - 14.06), win/loss percentage (5th - .900) and hitting percentage (7th - .310).
Individually, junior Torrey Van Winden finished sixth in the nation last season in kills per set (4.72), second in the Big West.
BROUKER DIGGING THROUGH THE RECORD BOOKS: Mustang senior libero Katherine Brouker is fourth in program history for digs per set, with 3.82.
Last season, she finished fifth in the Big West in digs and was named Big West Defensive Player of the Week Oct. 30.
VAN WINDENS MAKING HISTORY: The sister duo of senior Adlee Van Winden and junior Torrey Van Winden continue to make their marks on Cal Poly volleyball history.
Last season, Torrey finished the year with 4.83 kills per set. That was good for second highest kills per set average in program history. She compiled a total of 488 kills, seventh most in a single season in program history.
Heading into her senior season, Adlee has a career 3.64 kills per set average. She currently sits seventh in program history for career kills per set average.
MUSTANGS ON ESPN3: Cal Poly will play three matches this season that will be aired on ESPN3. The first will be the road match against Cal State Fullerton on September 21 at 7 p.m. The second will be October 19 at 7 p.m. when the Mustangs travel to take on CSUN. The third will be Poly's road match against UC Irvine November 10 at 7 p.m. All of those matches can be watched on ESPN3.com
FOLLOW THE MUSTANGS: Tickets are available at GoPoly.com, by calling (805) 756-4849 or by visiting the sidewalk window at the on-campus Performing Arts Center from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays.
Upcoming home matches in Mott Athletics Center feature several community events and fan giveaways:
Sept. 28 (Fri., 7 p.m.) • vs. CSUN
Youth Night – all kids 13-and-under receive free admission, with a postgame autograph session with the team courtside.
Sept. 29 (Sat., 7 p.m.) • vs. Long Beach State
Double-Up Saturday, the match is free to anyone showing a ticket for the football game vs. Montana.
Oct. 6 (Sat., 7 p.m.) • vs. Hawai'i
Alumni Night / Blackout – The first 250 fans will receive black Cal Poly volleyball shirts.
Nov. 16 (Fri., 7 p.m.) • vs. UC Riverside
Faculty & Staff Appreciation Night: All Cal Poly instructors and staff receive up to four free tickets.
Nov. 17 (Sat., 7 p.m.) • vs. Cal State Fullerton
Families are also encouraged to sign up for Mustang Kids Club ($10 per child/8th grade or under), as benefits include ongoing free admission to all regular-season soccer, volleyball, wrestling & women's basketball events along with select football, men's basketball and baseball games; plus invitations to exclusive events, birthday cards, free ice cream from Doc Burnstein's and a T-Shirt.
Cal Poly students always get into games for free, and are also invited to join the Stang Gang. Stang Gang — Cal Poly's student fan group — features several rewards for a $10 one-time lifetime registration fee, including prizes from sponsors such as Woodstock's Pizza, Eureka! and VISA, a member T-Shirt, and more upon reaching point levels by checking in at games.