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Cal Poly hands Rainbow Wahine volleyball team first Big West loss

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Cal Poly outside hitter Maia Dvoracek’s all-around performance helped the Mustangs hand the University of Hawaii women’s volleyball team its first loss of the Big West season today in San Luis Obispo, Calif.

Dvoracek finished with 21 kills on .514 hitting, 14 digs and four aces and posted her fourth block on match point and the Mustangs snapped UH’s eight-match winning streak with a four-set victory before a sellout crowd at the Mott Athletics Center.

Cal Poly (10-8, 7-1 Big West) went on decisive runs late in the first, third and fourth sets. UH (10-6, 7-1) pulled out a marathon second set, but the Mustangs went on to celebrate a 25-22, 31-33, 25-21, 25-19 win that forged a three-way tie atop the Big West standings with UH and UC Santa Barbara.

Cal Poly hit .313 as a team and sent back 14 blocks, while UH hit .145 with 31 attack errors.

Tommi Stockham posted 17 kills on the left side to complement Dvoracek, who had just two errors in 37 attempts. Lizzy Markovska added 11 kills for the Mustangs.

UH middle blocker Amber Igiede led the Rainbow Wahine with 16 kills on .344 hitting and five blocks. Freshman outside hitter Caylen Alexander added 13 kills. Outside hitter Riley Wagoner finished with nine kills and 12 errors. Libero Talia Edmonds served up five aces for the Wahine.

UH returns home to face Cal State Northridge on Friday and UC Santa Barbara on Saturday at SimpliFi Arena at Stan Sheriff Center.

UH trailed by three early in the first set, then came back to take three-point leads on three occasions, the last at 22-19. Meredith Phillips and Emme Bullis combined on a block and London Haberfield followed with her second ace of the first set. A successful challenge by the Cal Poly coaching staff led to a net violation call on UH and extended the run. After a UH error gave Cal Poly set point, Stockham’s kill off the block capped the Mustangs’ 6-0 run to close the set.

The Rainbow Wahine fought off six set points in the second set and had two of their own turned away before a double-contact call on Bullis gave UH a third opportunity. This time UH setter Kate Lang served up an ace to end UH’s longest set of the season and tie the match.

The third set was equally tight, with UH edging ahead 21-20. The Mustangs again took the lead and closed a 5-0 run with back-to-back blocks and an ace by Dvoracek.

Cal Poly took control early in the fourth set as the Wahine misfired and the Mustangs opened up a 16-8 lead. UH answered with an 8-1 run, highlighted by back-to-back aces by Edmonds, to close within a point at 17-16. But Cal Ply pulled away again and Stockham had three kills in a 5-1 surge to end the match.

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