By Anel Ceballos, Sept. 28, 2021

On Sept. 24, the CPP volleyball team defeated CSUSM in three straight sets at Kellogg Arena, marking their 10th consecutive win of the 2021-2022 season. 

The Broncos dominated the entire game, resulting in a hitting percentage of .451 with 44 kills and 42 assists.  

For Head Coach Traci Dahl, the team’s performance was reflective of the preparation the team has built over the past year.   

“I thought tonight was the best volleyball we’ve played all year and we still have more in the tank so it’s exciting,” Dahl said. 

The team swept the Cougars by 10 or more points in three straight sets, giving the Broncos their third conference win. 

Middle blocker Helen McMullin spiking the ball during the game against CSUSM. (Courtesy of Lyle Ibarra)

The cancelation of the team’s 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic has given the Broncos a sense of urgency to excel during competition. According to Dahl, the team maintained a regular practice regimen during quarantine via Zoom despite the fact that there was no longer a season. 

She attributes the team’s increasing success to the hard work they demonstrated during the pandemic.  

“This team made it extremely clear during the pandemic that they wanted to be better. We had 14 returners from 2019 that had a tough year and so they committed to that full year of not being on campus and they trained on their own,” Dahl said. “I think that right now, the team is playing as a genuine team. You have everybody in it all the time and that’s what we preach.” 

This season, the team’s roster is comprised of three freshmen, eight sophomores, two juniors and five seniors, all pursuing the same goal of getting to the championship. With 10 returners and eight new members, the teammates have bonded over their love for the sport and the desire to win, according to senior middle blocker Ruki Kennedy. 

“When I go to the gym, it’s just two hours to just do what I love and be with my teammates and enjoy myself,” Kennedy said. “There’s a really great support system here so it makes a lot of things easier to handle.” 

Because it is her senior year, Kennedy is taking the time to enjoy the new relationships she has built within the team.  

“Volleyball has always been so important to me, and this is maybe my last year playing volleyball at this level and just being on a team that works so hard and is so passionate and is really about each other and not the individual. It means a lot,” Kennedy said. 

The Broncos celebrate their undefeated status this season. (Courtesy of Lyle Ibarra)

Similarly, sophomore outside hitter Jazminn Parrish believes the team’s dynamics and strategies on the court have only improved after welcoming its newest members. 

“We all have a common goal and that’s to win a championship and to go far in volleyball, and I think that is what is really pushing us all to stay together,” Parrish said. “When it’s chaos and when it’s hectic we’re like, take a deep breath, relax, and then the next one. We control what we want to do because it’s up to us in the end for where we want to go in the future.” 

According to Dahl, the team enters each game prepared against their opponent. Although each opponent is different, she is confident in the team’s ability to control the games and push each other to take the win.  

“Every week for every opponent, our mindset is we’re going to come in and we’re going to play Cal Poly volleyball and we’re going to play as a team.” 

The Broncos also defeated CSU East Bay on Sept. 25 at the Kellogg Arena, marking their fourth conference win and eleventh consecutive win this season. 

On Oct. 1, the Broncos will attempt to continue their winning streak against CSULA. 

Students can visit the Cal Poly Pomona Athletics Department website to learn more on team stats, highlights and schedule.  

Featured image courtesy of Lyle Ibarra.

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