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No. 12 Mustangs Travel to CSUN Friday, Long Beach State Saturday

No. 12 Mustangs Travel to CSUN Friday, Long Beach State Saturday

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Off to its best start since 1981, the Cal Poly volleyball team will look to eclipse that team this weekend when it travels to southern California for two road matches this weekend.

The No. 12 Mustangs (17-1, 7-0 BWC) take on CSUN Friday at 7 p.m. in a match that will be aired on ESPN3. They then travel to Long Beach State Saturday for a match at 7 p.m.

Through 18 matches, Cal Poly is 17-1. Last year's team through 18 matches was 16-2 and finished with the season with a 27-3 record, the best in program history. This year's team is now off to best start since the 1985 team started 18-1 and will erase that if it wins both matches this weekend.

Links for video and live stats for both matches can be found above or on the schedule page

Cal Poly enters the match riding a 16-match winning streak. The Mustangs have also won 24 Big West matches in a row and a program-record 18 straight home matches going back to 2016.

Last weekend, Cal Poly swept rival UC Santa Barbara in its lone match of the week. Freshman Meredith Phillips tied her career-high in kills, finishing with a team-high 12, hitting .750 and added two block assists while fellow freshman Avalon DeNecochea recorded her first double-double of the season with 36 assists and 15 digs.

Junior Torrey Van Winden finished the match with 10 kills and nine digs. She has now recorded double-digit kills in all but one of Cal Poly's matches this season. Last season, she posted double-figure kill numbers in 29 of the Mustangs' 30 matches.

Against the Gauchos, the Mustangs hit .386, raising their hitting percentage to .288. That is the highest in the Big West and eighth best in the nation.

The Matadors (6-13, 2-5) currently sit seventh in the Big West standings. They are coming off a 3-1 loss at Hawai'i. Cal Poly swept CSUN when the two teams played earlier this season in San Luis Obispo. Senior Aeryn Owens leads the Matadors and is fourth in the Big West in kills with a 4.01 kills per set average. The Mustangs lead the all-time series 34-25 and have won the last seven meetings.

The 49ers (11-9, 3-4) is coming off a 3-1 loss at Hawai'i. They are currently fifth in the Big West. They will play two matches before the meeting with Cal Poly Saturday. They will play Cal State Fullerton Tuesday and UC Santa Barbara Friday. The Mustangs swept Long Beach State earlier this season in San Luis Obispo. The 49ers lead the Big West in blocks with 2.46 per set with the Mustangs second at 2.18. They boast the Big West's top two block leaders in Emma Kirst (1.13 per set) and YiZhi Xue (1.08). The Beach leads the all-time series 45-22.

Mustangs No. 12 In AVCA Top 25: For the second consecutive week, Cal Poly is ranked No. 12 in the AVCA Top 25 Poll. That is the highest ranking for the Mustangs since 2008, when they were ranked No. 10 in the preseason poll. Previously, the Mustangs were ranked No. 13. 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.

In the most recent RPI Poll released by the NCAA, Cal Poly ranks No. 18 in the nation.

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 18 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 24 consecutive Big West matches. Last season, they finished a perfect 16-0 for the first time in program history.

GET OUT THE BROOM STICKS: 11 of Cal Poly's 17 wins this season have come via sweeps, including six of its first seven Big West matches. Last season, 20 of the Mustangs' 27 wins came via the 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 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: Cal Poly leads the Big West in hitting percentage (.288) (eighth in the nation), kills per set (13.89) (31st in the nation), is second in blocks per set (2.18) and opponent hitting percentage (.187) and assists (13.08) (28th in the nation).

Individually, Torrey Van Winden is third in the Big West in kills (4.98 per set), good for sixth in the nation and first in hitting percentage (.372), 34th in the nation. Sophomore Madilyn Mercer is fifth in the conference in blocks (1.00 per set), freshman setter Avalon DeNecochea is second in the Big West in assists (10.26 per set) and senior libero Katherine Brouker is fifth in the Big West in digs (4.45 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 3.88.

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 have two matches remaining that will air on ESPN3. The next will be October 19 at 7 p.m. when the Mustangs travel to take on CSUN. The final one 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:

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.