Volleyball team rallies for memorable win

By Eric Carlstrom

The Cal Poly volleyball squad completed the regular season with
a bang on Saturday night with a dramatic five-game victory over
bitter rival Cal State Los Angeles.

On Wednesday, the Broncos (18-7, 15-5) swept the Cal State
Dominguez Hills Toros in consecutive sets, setting up Saturday
nights game, which was also senior night.

The Broncos and the Golden Eagles battled for much of the first
game, with neither team earning more than a two-point advantage
until the Broncos led 15-12, and extended its lead to 16-12.

Both teams struggled to create momentum until kills from seniors
Anne-Marie Hofmans, Vanessa Williams and Allie Newman put Cal Poly
ahead, 23-19.

After a Golden Eagle error and the Broncos surrendering a point,
junior Elizabeth Diaz shut the door with a kill, securing the first
game 25-20.

“It really just boils down to going back to your strength, being
consistent and hitting into the court,” said Head Coach Rosie
Wegrich.

The Golden Eagles rallied strongly in the second game,
delivering two kills in the first two points. Another kill from
Williams sparked a five-point run for the Broncos, only to see the
visiting team rally again to retake the lead 6-5.

After exchanging multiple points, Cal Poly errors handed Cal
State L.A. a 15-10 advantage. Williams delivered another kill for
the Broncos, but the Golden Eagles would run its lead up to 20-12,
before leveling the match and winning the second game, 25-14.

Cal State L.A. carried their momentum into the second game as
the team jumped out to a 3-0 lead. The Broncos would rally to tie
the game several times, but held the lead just once the entire
game.

Trailing 15-9, the Broncos got strong serving from Diaz to close
the gap to 15-13, but the Golden Eagles would rally again and never
look back, earning the third game 25-19, and taking a 2-1 advantage
in games.

Game four would prove to be the exact opposite though, as the
Broncos jumped out to a 5-1 lead, and never relented the lead.
Strong play from the Broncos at all positions gave the team a lead
that would reach as high as ten points at 22-12, 23-13 and 24-14
until the Broncos sent the match to the fifth and final set with
the 25-14 victory.

“Our passers really came together too. They’re really important
to our success,” said Wegrich. “They allow Jasmine [Davis] to be at
the net doing her best thing, which is jump setting.”

Diaz got the Broncos going from the beginning of the fifth game
with a kill to lead 1-0. The Golden Eagles would bounce back to
take a 5-3 advantage, but it would be the last lead they held.

The Broncos then went on to win seven straight points and earn
the 10-5 advantage.

Cal State L.A. won two straight points coming out of a timeout,
before Wegrich called a time out of her own.

“We were helping the girls become disciplined and be process
oriented,” said Wegrich. “You have to be in the present tense.”

Cal Poly would then win five of the next six points, earning the
25-20, 14-25, 19-25, 25-14, 15-8 victory.

“Jasmine set a very strategic game, and it’s a mark of her
maturity as a setter to match up our strengths against their
weaknesses at the net,” said Wegrich. “We definitely won that
battle.”

Williams led the Broncos with 18 kills and nine block assists,
and Hofmans delivered 11 kills with two block assists.

The Broncos impressed again Wednesday, as they set a California
Collegiate Athletic Association record with a hitting percentage of
.488, surpassing the previous high of .465 set by Cal State San
Bernardino last season.

The totals of 44 kills with five errors in 80 total attacks
propelled the Broncos to a smooth 25-20, 25-16, 25-13 victory over
the visiting Toros.

Senior Jenna Young led the way with 10 kills and zero errors in
22 attacks.

Hofmans delivered eight kills with one error in 14 total
attacks, and Newman provided seven kills with one error in just 10
attacks.

Davis had 34 assists and sophomore libero had three aces and 11
digs.

The Broncos return to action at the NCAA Pacific Region
tournament at Cal State San Bernardino. Cal Poly’s third place
finish in the CCAA earned them the number three seed in the
eight-team field. The teams will square off against Western Oregon
on Thursday.

“We want to enter the playoffs being better prepared. Last year
we weren’t as offensively prepared,” said Wegrich. “This year we’re
going to be offensively prepared and we’re going to know exactly
what our game plan is, then it’s just a matter of execution.”

Volleyball team rallies for memorable win

Erik Christiansen/Poly Post

Volleyball team rallies for memorable win

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