By Nate Macay and Joseph McVey, Oct. 4, 2022
On Oct. 1, Cal Poly Pomona’s volleyball team started the month off on a high note, sweeping the Cal State San Marcos Cougars 3-0 and improving to an 8-0 record against conference opponents. Opposite side hitter Daisy Duke had another outstanding performance leading the team with 21 kills.
The Broncos jumped out of the gate in the opening set strong with the help of some costly service errors from the Cougars. The two teams were battling back and forth towards the end of the set, but the Broncos stopped a late comeback from the Cougars and held on to win the first set 25-17.
Head coach Traci Dahl noted the team’s heighted activity in today’s victory, seeing improvement with the team’s serving and passing.
“We wanted to look a little more proficient,” said Dahl. “We focused on serving and passing this past week and I thought it looked tough. San Marcos hit some good clean balls, and we dug them.”
Duke got off to a hot offensive start in the opening set and found ways to read the Cougars’ blockers throughout the game.
“I was able to read their blockers well,” said Duke. “They were giving us good passes, and it was easier for me to move the ball around.”
The second set saw a repeat of the opening set where both teams saw lead changes. The Broncos were able to capitalize off a couple net errors from the Cougars as their offensive dominance continued and won the second set 25-13.
Middle blocker Kaitlan Tucker provided the spark the Broncos needed in their second set, finishing the game with double digit kills for the first time this season.
The third set started off with a pair of Duke kills that allowed the Broncos to grab an early lead. A service error gave the Cougars an opportunity to pounce as the visitors managed to go back and forth with the Broncos once more.
CPP’s blocking was on full display in the third set as it managed to give them the push needed to close out the match. Tucker led the Bronco block party finishing with five, while setter Caitie Mueller and middle blocker Erin McFarland finished with three apiece.
“We made adjustments at the net,” Tucker said, “If we see someone cutting inside, we made sure to try to drop our hands and be ready.”
The Broncos won the final set 25-14 thanks to a trio of attack errors from the Cougars and closed out the game with a sweep.
For Tucker, stopping the early runs that allowed the Cougars to fight their way back into each set was something that her and the team managed as the game progressed.
“We made quick adjustments” Tucker said, “Teams are going to go on the runs, of course, but I feel like we did a good job of stopping it early”
CPP has now won 14 straight games on the year, and while the team continues to showcase their talent in their current stretch of victories, coach Dahl said her team isn’t focused on the wins.
“In the conference room we aren’t talking about the record,” said Dahl. “We are talking about what they did to provide today and how they met some of their goals. They give each other shoutouts, and it’s important to us because they are giving compliments to their teammates. It’s a nice thing to see.”
The Broncos will look to keep their winning streak alive as they head out on the road to take on Cal State San Bernardino on Friday, Oct. 7. The game can be livestreamed on the California Collegiate Athletic Association’s website and on BroncoAthletics.com.
Feature image by Joseph McVey
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