Volleyball team outlasts Cal Poly in five games; victory snaps 20 years of frustration
USU athletic media relations
Behind 25 kills from senior Melissa Schoepf and 23 kills from senior Amy Crosbie, Utah State remained unbeaten in the Big West Conference with a thrilling five-game win over Cal Poly, 12-15, 11-15, 15-4, 15-10, 15-9.
USU improved to 11-3 on the season and 3-0 in league play with its ninth straight win of the year. Cal Poly fell to 7-5 overall and 1-3 in conference action. USU recorded its first win over Cal Poly since 1980 with its victory, breaking a 20-match winning streak for the Mustangs.
Utah State opened the match with a lot of momentum in building a 11-4 advantage. However, USU could not maintain its edge and the Mustangs scored 11 of the final 12 points to win game one. Once again, USU opened game two as the aggressor and built a 10-5 advantage. But once again Cal Poly finished the game strong by scoring 10 of the final 11 points to win 15-11 and take a commanding two games to none advantage. The aggies seened to find its rhythm in game three and coasted to a 15-4 win as USU hit .421 as a team in the game. Game four saw Utah State hang on for a 15-10 win before winning the match 15-9 in game five, marking the first time since Sept. 20 of 1997 versus Montana State that the Aggies have rallied from a 2-0 defecit to win a match.
"For us to come back against a team that is as well coached as Cal Poly is remarkable," commented second-year head coach Tom Peterson. "We train in some good systems in practice, and I thought that training helped our offense a ton. Our defense had a lot of movement and it seemed to keep them (Cal Poly) confused."
Along with Schoepf's and Crosbie's monster nights on the offensive end, Schoepf also had a big night defensively with 14 kills and seven blocks. Junior Heather Olmstead had a tremendous defensive match with a career-high 22 digs, while Crosbie added 12. Senior Denae Mohlman hit .364 for the match with 14 kills to go along with 10 blocks and eight digs, while sophomore Hailey Mackay had a season-high 10 kills.
As a team, Utah State hit .227 in the match and held Cal Poly to a .168 hitting percentage.
Utah State will next be in action on Saturday when the Gauchos of Santa Barbara visit the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum at 7:30 p.m. UCSB is also 11-3 on the season and 3-0 in the Big West Conference after a three-game win at Boise State on Thursday evening.