Harkey kills during Senior Night

By Michael Zavala

The volleyball team dealt with polar opposites last week, taking
on the top and bottom teams in the California Collegiate Athletic
Association.

Cal Poly split its two games, but it got a win when it really
mattered.

The No. 24 Broncos (19-6, 11-5) defeated Cal State Dominguez
Hills on Saturday during Senior Night, 3-1 (30-15, 30-19, 26-30,
30-20). The victory came three days after Cal Poly lost to No. 5
Cal State San Bernardino, 3-0 (30-21, 30-23, 30-23).

“We got some good looks at new things we’ll need coming up,”
said head coach Rosie Wegrich.

Cal Poly is in a tie with No. 19 UC San Diego for second place
in the California Collegiate Athletic Association. San Bernardino
clinched the CCAA title with its win.

Saturday, the Bronco seniors stepped up to dominate the
Toros.

Before the match, seniors Kiting Kolar, Antoinette Kathol and
Brittany Harkey were honored during Senior Night festivities. Kolar
will leave Cal Poly as its all-time leader in digs with 1,517 in
her career.

Although Dominguez Hills was competitive in the early goings of
the first two games, Cal Poly found its groove and won them with
ease.

“We set the tone in the first two games and were in command,”
said Wegrich.

After the Toros grabbed a two-point lead in the first game, 9-7,
the Broncos struck back with a 23-6 run to take the victory. The
run included a spectacular dig and kill combo by freshman Rafaela
Rosa and sophomore Jasmine Davis in which Rosa dug a sharp hit and
Davis received it and slammed a curving kill.

“[Davis] had some fun tonight,” said Wegrich.

Dominguez Hills made things interesting in the third game after
Cal Poly’s reserves filled the court. The Toros hung with the
Broncos, and won the game even after juniors Jenna Young and
Vanessa Williams subbed back.

Momentum shifted back to Cal Poly in the fourth game as it held
a comfortable lead the whole time.

Harkey led the Broncos with 17 kills and also had a .448 attack
percentage. Kathol led the Cal Poly attack with an astonishing .737
percentage and seven block assists.

The atmosphere was more frightening when Cal Poly played San
Bernardino on Halloween night and suffered its first home loss of
the year.

The Broncos were competitive but couldn’t muster enough momentum
to take any games from the Coyotes.

“We had trouble passing and with our serve-receive,” said
assistant coach Randi Smart. “That didn’t allow us to run our
offense well.”

Cal Poly got to within two in the first game, 16-18, but San
Bernardino executed a couple of well-timed runs to take the
victory.

The Coyotes’ Jessica Granados and Sharea Drawn kept them within
distance of the Broncos as Cal Poly led for a solid period in the
second game. But once again, well-timed runs enabled San Bernardino
to take the win.

The third game was more of the same. The Broncos got within
striking distance of the Coyotes a couple of times, but San
Bernardino’s leads were too solid for Cal Poly to erase.

Young and Williams led the Broncos with six kills each.

Despite the tough loss, though, Smart is confident about Cal
Poly’s chances of getting into the playoffs.

“We plan on getting into Regionals,” said Smart. “We just want
to win and control our own destiny.”

Doing so might be more complex than imagined, though.

“It will be Senior Night on the road both nights,” said Wegrich.
“It’ll be tough. Nobody wants to lose their last home game.”

The Broncos return to the court on the road Friday at No. 22
Chico State and again Saturday at Cal State Stanislaus.

Harkey kills during Senior Night

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Harkey kills during Senior Night

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