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Defense Leads No. 16 Mustangs to Road Sweep of UC Davis

Defense Leads No. 16 Mustangs to Road Sweep of UC Davis

DAVIS, Calif. — Led by junior Torrey Van Winden's match-high 12 kills, seven digs, six blocks, a .321 hitting percentage and holding UC Davis to a -.085 hitting percentage for the match, the Cal Poly volleyball team swept the Aggies (25-16, 25-7, 25-17) Thursday on the road to pick up its 12th Big West win and remain in first place.

Senior Adlee Van Winden added eight kills, hitting .538, 10 digs, two blocks and two service aces. Freshman Meredith Phillips chipped in seven kills on a .636 hitting percentage and six blocks. Senior libero Katherine Brouker recorded a team-high 11 digs and freshman setter Avalon DeNecochea dished out a match-high 28 assists.

The No. 16 Mustangs (22-2, 12-1 BWC) were statistically better than the Aggies (16-10, 8-6) in every category. Most notably in hitting percentage (.309 to -.085), blocks (15 to 1) and kills (36 to 23).

The early part of the first set was close between the two teams. However, with Cal Poly up 8-6, the Mustangs got hot, going on a 7-0 run to take a 15-6 lead. They did not look back from there as the closest UC Davis was able to cut the lead to was eight. Thanks to a .286 hitting percentage while holding the Aggies to just .029, Cal Poly went on to take the set 25-16 behind four kills each from both Phillips and Adlee Van Winden.

The Mustangs opened the second set by taking a 9-1 lead. They continued their strong play from that point, extending their lead to 15-2. From there, Cal Poly went on to finish the set on a 10-5 run to win 25-7. The Mustangs defense was on full display in the set as they held UC Davis to a -.267 hitting percentage, the lowest they have held an opponent to in any set this season. It was also the first time this season they held an opponent to less than 10 points in single set.

The beginning of the third set was a much different story than the second. Both teams traded points early on, with neither team taking a lead more than two through the first 18 points. Up 10-8, Cal Poly went on a 6-1 run to take a 16-9 lead. Down 20-11, the Aggies went on a 5-3 run to cut the lead to 23-16. That is as close as they would get though, as up 24-17, a blocking error by UC Davis completed the sweep for the Mustangs 25-17.

The win snapped the Aggies' seven-match win streak. Cal Poly has now won 21 of its last 22 matches.

The Mustangs travel to face UC Irvine Saturday at 5 p.m. in a match that will air on ESPN3. A link to watch that match is available on the schedule page.