MISSOULA, Mont. – Freshman outside hitter Raeann Greisen produced a match-high 17 kills in her first collegiate outing as the Cal Poly volleyball program opened its 2014 season and the Montana Invitational with a 26-24, 25-20, 17-25, 25-20 victory against the host Grizzlies inside West Auxiliary Gym on Friday evening.
Freshman outside hitter Hannah Mathiesen added 13 kills in her Cal Poly debut while sophomore middle blocker Taylor Gruenewald (right) totaled 12 for Cal Poly (1-0), which held one Montana player to a double-digit kill total. The Mustangs, who started five freshmen on Friday, also enjoyed a match-best 33 assists from freshman setter Taylor Nelson.
In set No. 1, successive Gruenewald kills and kills apiece from freshman middle blocker Caihla Petiprin and Greisen helped Cal Poly build a 22-16 lead. Montana, however, rallied with a 7-1 run to square the set at 23-23. A Greisen kill broke a 24-24 deadlock moments later before a Grizzlies attacking error handed Cal Poly the 26-24 set win.
The Mustangs compiled a 6-1 run early in the second set to take a quick 8-3 lead. The Grizzlies clawed to a 16-15 disadvantage midway through set No. 1, but Cal Poly received three kills from Greisen down the stretch to hold back Montana for the 25-20 set victory.
Backed by a .409 hitting percentage, Montana led set No. 3 wire-to-wire. The Mustangs, however, recovered to open set No. 4 with an 8-4 lead and survived ties at 14-14 and 16-16 before a serving error at 20-20 handed Cal Poly the lead for good. Mathiesen recorded two kills late before Greisen closed the match victory with her 17th kill.
Cal Poly closes Montana Invitational action on Saturday, Aug. 30 against Wyoming (8:30 a.m. PT) and Washington State (4 p.m.).