Mustangs sit at 15-2, Face Biggest Test at Hawai’i

Updated: October 5, 2017

The Cal Poly Volleyball team is off to their best start since I was just a few months old (1981) and their best start in the Division I era at 15-2 overall and 6-0 in Big West Conference play. This is, or could be, arguably, the best Cal Poly Volleyball team the school has ever put on the court. On Saturday, they’ll be tested by perennial powerhouse Hawai’i.

The Rainbow Wahine have their first new head coach since the mid 70’s, but are still a force to be reckoned with. They are 10-5 on the season and also undefeated so far in Big West Conference play. Cal Poly has beaten Long Beach State at the Pyramid, have a higher RPI, and were effectively ranked 26th in the nation in the coaches poll this week.

Torrey Van Winden, a transfer from UCLA and Adlee’s younger sister, has been a revelation for Cal Poly’s already high-powered attack. By Owen Main

With Torrey and Adlee Van Winden, Raeann Griesen, and Savannah Niemen leading the attack and Taylor Nelson setting the table, the Mustangs have only lost to two teams in the top-25 and beat the only other ranked school they played. Torrey Van Winden already has two Big West Player of the Week honors this season and Taylor Nelson earned one recently as well. If they win at Hawai’i, they’ll almost certainly deserve to crack that top-25 poll. It will be anything but easy. 

In sports like volleyball and against a team like Hawai’i, nothing is given. Cal Poly is just 4-39 all-time against Hawai’i. So, the Mustangs might be the better team this season. The numbers would say they are. But until they go into the Stan Sheriff Center and come away with a match win, I’ll simply maintain a healthy optimism.

From what I saw two weeks ago, this year’s Cal Poly team has more weapons than any Mustang team I’ve seen. Last week, Cal Poly won in Long Beach. A win in Honolulu would be another strong message to the Big West and the rest of the national college volleyball scene: Cal Poly is dangerous.