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No. 13 Mustangs Host Hawai’i Saturday In Clash of Big West Unbeatens

No. 13 Mustangs Host Hawai’i Saturday In Clash of Big West Unbeatens

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Last season, the Cal Poly volleyball team did something that hadn't been done in over 30 years by sweeping the season series against Hawai'i on its way to claiming its first conference title in a decade. This year's team has a chance to do that again starting this weekend when it hosts the Rainbow Wahine (8-5, 4-0 BWC) for the first time this season.

The No. 13 Mustangs (15-1, 5-0 BWC) host Hawai'i Saturday at 7 p.m. inside Mott Athletics Center. The match is a 'blackout match'; all fans who attend are encouraged to wear black.

Links for tickets, video, audio and live stats can be found above, on the schedule page or via the GoPoly Front Row app.

Cal Poly enters the match riding a 14-match winning streak. The Mustangs have also won 22 Big West matches in a row and 16 straight home matches going back to 2016.

Last week, Cal Poly swept both of its matches at home. Friday, they beat CSUN 3-0 (25-17, 25-16, 25-17) before taking down Long Beach State 3-0 (25-18, 25-16, 25-18).

The Mustangs have now swept their last six opponents and have a total of 10 sweeps this season.

While the Mustangs continue to get contributions from many different players, they are led by junior Torrey Van Winden and senior Adlee Van Winden. Torrey is averaging a team-leading 4.91 kills per set and 2.73 digs per set. Her kills per set average is third in the Big West and seventh in the nation. She is also hitting a Big West leading .372 hitting percentage. Over the last seven matches, she is hitting an outstanding .449. Adlee is second on the team in kills per set with 3.02 and is averaging 2.49 digs per set. Torrey has a team-leading five double-doubles this season while Adlee has four.

After starting the season 4-5, the first time Hawai'i has ever started conference play with a losing record, the Rainbow Wahine have won their last four matches and are undefeated so far in Big West play. They are coming off back-to-back sweeps over Cal State Fullerton and UC Riverside and currently sit in second place in the Big West behind the Mustangs.

Last season, Cal Poly won the first meeting between the two teams with a five-set comeback victory in Honolulu. After dropping the first two sets, the Mustangs rallied back by winning the next three to beat Hawai'i for the first time since 2006. In the second meeting between the two at Mott Athletics Center, it was another five-set thriller in front of the first sellout crowd at Mott since 2006. Down 2-1, Cal Poly won the fourth set to force a fifth and narrowly edged out the Rainbow Wahine 17-15 to complete the season series sweep. However, Hawai'i leads the all-time series 39-6.

Mustangs No. 13 In AVCA Top 25: Cal Poly is ranked No. 13 in this week's AVCA Top 25 Poll. That is the highest ranking for the Mustangs since 2008, when they were ranked No. 10 in the preseason poll. For the previous two weeks, the Mustangs were ranked No. 15. 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 earlier this season 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 16 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 22 consecutive Big West matches. Last season, they finished a perfect 16-0 for the first time in program history.

GET OUT THE BROOM STICKS: 10 of Cal Poly's 13 wins this season have come via sweeps, including the last six in a row. 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 six weeks of the season, Cal Poly leads the Big West in hitting percentage (.284) (ninth in the nation), is second in blocks per set (2.22) and opponent hitting percentage (.189), and is third in assists (13.00) and kills (13.82)

Individually, Torrey Van Winden is third in the Big West in kills (4.88 per set), good for seventh in the nation and first in hitting percentage (.367), 37th in the nation. Sophomore Madilyn Mercer is third in the conference in blocks (1.04 per set), freshman setter Avalon DeNecochea is second in the Big West in assists (10.02 per set) and senior libero Katherine Brouker is fifth in the Big West in digs (4.25 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 3.84.

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:

Oct. 6 (Sat., 7 p.m.) • vs. Hawai'i
Alumni Night / Blackout – The first 250 students 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
Senior Night

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.