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Mustangs Sweep Highlanders, Remain Unbeaten in Big West Play

Mustangs Sweep Highlanders, Remain Unbeaten in Big West Play

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Behind a match-high 10 kills from junior outside hitter Maia Dvoracek, the Cal Poly volleyball team swept UC Riverside Friday night inside Mott Athletics Center (25-12, 25-16, 25-16) to remain undefeated in Big West play.

For the Mustangs (11-5, 4-0 BW), the victory is their 10th straight sweep of a Big West opponent dating back to last season and extends their nation's-best home winning streak to 26 matches.

In addition to Dvoracek, Cal Poly had a number of players provide big contributions on the night. Senior outside hitter Nikki Jackson added eight kills, hitting .500 and fellow senior outside hitter Jessica McRoskey also finished with eight kills to go along with two aces. Sophomore setter Avalon DeNecochea ran the Mustang offense to a .293 hitting percentage while dishing out a match-high 26 assists to go with four kills. Defensively, senior libero Mika Dickson finished with a match-high 16 digs and sophomore defensive specialist Lea Ungar added eight digs.

As a team, Cal Poly held the Highlanders (5-9, 1-2 BW) to a -.040 hitting percentage. UC Riverside hit a negative hitting percentage in sets one and two and flatlined at .000 in the third set.

The first set was tight in the first few points. However, tied at 4, the Mustangs went on a 9-3 run to take a 13-7 lead. Cal Poly continued to push the gas pedal from there as up 13-8, an 8-2 run extended the lead to 21-10. The Mustangs, behind a .400 hitting percentage for the set, went on to win it 25-12.

Tied at 7 in the second set, Cal Poly once again used another big run, this time a 7-2 spurt to go up 14-9. UC Riverside cut the lead to 14-11 before the Mustangs scored eight unanswered points to go up 22-11 and went on to win the set 25-16.

Looking to finish the sweep, Cal Poly used a an 8-1 run up 9-7 to pull ahead 17-8. UC Riverside cut the lead to six at 21-15. However, from there the Mustangs scored four of the next five points and went on to win the set 25-16.

Cal Poly remains at Mott Athletics Center for a match Saturday against UC Davis. First serve is set for 7 p.m.

Photo courtesy of Nathan Nybakke