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No. 8 Mustangs Open Big West Tournament With Pair of Sweeps

Miric and Jones
Miric and Jones

MALIBU, Calif. — Things couldn't have gone any better for the Cal Poly beach volleyball program Friday. The team opened the Big West Tournament from Zuma Beach in Malibu with consecutive 5-0 sweeps of both Sacramento State and No. 12 Long Beach State.

The two-seed No. 8 Mustangs, who didn't drop a set in either match, started off with a 5-0 victory over the Hornets (2-18). They then got revenge over the third-seed No. 12 49ers (19-10) with another 5-0 win. Long Beach State had beaten Cal Poly the previous three meetings, including earlier this season in Pismo Beach, Calif. and ending the Mustangs' season in last year's Big West Tournament.

Against Sacramento State, Cal Poly's No. 4 pairing of freshman Delaney Peranich and senior Samantha Manley got things going with a dominant 21-4, 21-5 win. The nine combined points was the fewest an opponent has scored on a Cal Poly pair this season. That win was followed by a 21-7, 21-11 victory by the No. 2 pairing of junior Emily Sonny and sophomore Macy Gordon.

The Mustangs' No. 1 pairing of senior Crissy Jones and sophomore Tia Miric then clinched the match with a 21-7, 21-17 win. The 5-0 victory was completed after a 21-5, 21-6 win by freshman Vanessa Roscoe and junior Brayden Gruenewald at the No. 5 position and a 21-11, 21-7 win by the No. 3 pairing of freshman Jayelin Lombard and senior Kat Wright.

A few hours later Cal Poly was matched up for the second straight year in the Big West Tournament against Long Beach State. The motivated Mustangs started out the match with a 21-16, 21-17 victory by the No. 5 pairing of Roscoe and Gruenewald. Jones and Miric then followed at the No. 1 spot with a 21-17, 21-12 win.

The Mustangs clinched the victory over the 49ers after Sonny and Gordon won their match at the No. 3 position 21-18, 21-12. Peranich and Manley then pushed the lead to 4-0 after a 21-16, 21-18 win at the No. 4 position. The sweep was then completed thanks to a 21-16, 21-17 victory at the No. 3 spot by Lombard and Wright.

With the two wins, Jones and Miric improved their season record as a pair to a team-best 20-7. Sonny and Gordon improved to 14-3, the best win percentage by a pair on the team. Lombard and Wright moved to 19-11. Peranich and Manley pushed their record to 9-7 and Roscoe and Gruenewald improved to 14-11.

Cal Poly now moves on to face No. 5 Hawai'i Saturday at 10 a.m. The Mustangs beat the top-seeded Sand Bows for the first time in program history earlier this season in their only matchup. The winner will move on to the championship match and would have to lose twice. The loser will move down to the bottom portion of the bracket but would still have a chance to advance to the championship match because it is a double-elimination tournament.