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Mustangs Remain Tied For First in Big West With Sweep Over UC Davis

Mustangs Remain Tied For First in Big West With Sweep Over UC Davis

DAVIS, Calif. — Behind 11 kills each from both senior outside hitter Nikki Jackson and junior outside hitter Maia Dvoracek, the Cal Poly volleyball team swept UC Davis (25-19, 28-26, 25-11) at The Pavilion, handing the Aggies (12-10, 4-5 BW) just their second home loss of the season to go 2-0 on the week and win its second straight road match.

For the Mustangs (15-6, 8-1 BW), the keeps them tied for first in the Big West with UC Santa Barbara at 8-1. It is also their 10th win in their last 11 matches.

Jackson's 11 kills tied her career-high as she hit .391 for the match while Dvoracek added eight digs and two blocks to her 11 kills with a .360 hitting percentage. Junior middle blocker Madilyn Mercer finished with five kills and a match-high four blocks. Sophomore setter Avalon DeNecochea dished out 26 assists and added three kills and four digs as she helped Cal Poly hit .310 for the match. Defensively, senior libero Mika Dickson finished with a match-high 15 digs.

Cal Poly played strong defense all match, holding the Aggies to a .086 hitting percentage. For the match, the Mustangs also had more kills, blocks, digs, service aces, and committed just eight attacking errors compared to 24 for UC Davis.

It was a back-and-forth affair to start the first set. With the Mustangs leading 11-10, a 9-1 run by Cal Poly gave them a 20-11 advantage. However, the Aggies responded by scoring seven consecutive points to cut the lead to two at 20-18. The Mustangs then scored the next three points to go up 24-18. At 24-19, an attack error by UC Davis gave Cal Poly the first set win, 25-19.

The second set proved to be the closest of them all. However, early on Cal Poly found itself trailing 5-9 before coming back to cut the lead to one at 9-10. Later, trailing 15-17, the Mustangs rattled off five straight points to go up 20-17 before UC Davis came back and tied it at 22. Facing set point at 23-24, a service error by the Aggies tied it at 24. Facing another set point at 24-25, a kill by sophomore middle blocker Meredith Phillips tied it again at 25. UC Davis then scored again to have another set point opportunity only to be tied again thanks to a kill by Dvoracek. An attack error by the Aggies followed by another kill from Dvoracek sealed the set victory for the Mustangs, 28-26.

Riding the momentum of winning the second set in dramatic fashion, Cal Poly opened the third set by taking a 4-1 lead early. UC Davis cut the lead to two at 8-6 but that is as close as they would get for the rest of the set. With the Mustangs up 12-8, they scored seven straight points to take a commanding 19-8 lead. They didn't look back from there, going on to win the set 25-11 to complete the sweep.

Having completed its stretch of three straight road matches, Cal Poly will return home next week for a home match against CSUN on Tuesday, Oct. 29 at 7 p.m. in Mott Athletics Center. Following that match, they head to the islands to face Hawai'i on Sunday, Nov. 3.