By Aaron Salazar
The Cal Poly Pomona volleyball team saw its season end on Friday after it fell to the Sonoma State Seawolves 3-0 in the first California Collegiate Athletic Association tournament semifinal match in La Jolla.
The Broncos finished the season with an overall record of 17-13 and a 12-8 record in conference play.
Though the Broncos’ season ended against the No. 17 team in the nation, the Broncos secured the program’s first playoff win since 2008 on Thursday.
“For four years, this team has been on the hunt to get to the level [of] playoff contention,” said Head Coach Rosie Wegrich, who completed her 24th season at the helm of the program. “This team has the sense of satisfaction that we got to this lever. [It is] fulfilling and satisfying.”
The win came after the Broncos defeated the San Francisco State Gators 3-1 in the quarterfinal matchup.
In set one, the Green and Gold jumped out to an early 6-2 lead. The Gators tried to chip away at the lead, but the Broncos were playing stingy defense with some clutch digs by senior libero Zoe Herrera. The Broncos went on to win the set 25-21.
Set two saw a closer match early in the set. The two teams traded points as well as ties with neither giving up much ground until the Gators went on a six-point run in the middle of the set. The Broncos were able to close the gap to three, but they ended up falling 25-21 in the set.
Set three, though not the final set, was the pivotal set of the match. CPP jumped out to another early lead, but it could not maintain the lead. The two teams were tied at 17, but the Green and Gold went on a 5-1 run late. The Gators were not backing down though and tied the set at 24. The Broncos were able to secure the set 27-25 and took a 2-1 lead in the match.
Set four was another competitive set early, but the Broncos pulled away down the stretch going on a 10-point run to break open the set 17-8. The Gators pulled to within six, but CPP secured the set and the match 25-18 to secure the playoff win.
“Communication is key [for us],” said senior middle blocker Christen Williams. “Our dynamic this year is great. Having such an open dialog with each other also attributed to having great communication on the court.”
In the match, the Broncos had double-digit kills by three players.
“It very important for us [to distribute the ball],” said Herrera. “It keeps us more diverse. The setters are doing a good job distributing our set so that the other team is not seeing the same thing.”
CCAA Freshman of the Year Kristen Hamlin led CPP with 14 kills. Senior setter Nicoletta Stork contributed 12 and Williams had 11 in the contest.
Herrera added 29 kills in the match. Sophomore Samantha Figueroa had 18 for the Green and Gold.
On Friday, the Broncos fell 3-0 to the Seawolves. The scores of the sets were 25-20, 25-20 and 25-22.
In her final match in green and gold, Herrera added another 18 digs to her career digs record at CPP.
“Zoe is an outstanding libero, just outstanding,” said Wegrich.
Courtesy of Bronco Athletics
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