Cal Poly volleyball finished with the best record in program history in December, winning 27 out of 30 games and landing a perfect 16-0 in the Big West to win the program’s first conference title in 10 years. The historic season marked the team’s first undefeated home record since 2007, the longest winning streak in program history (22 matches), the first NCAA top 25 ranking since 2008, and the first appearance and win in the NCAA Tournament since 2007.
The Big West conference title put the Mustangs into the NCAA sub-regional tournament in Los Angeles, where they swept the University of Denver Pioneers and advanced to the second round before falling to UCLA on the Bruins’ home floor.
“This season truly exemplifies what can happen when a group of people commit to doing their part, hold themselves to a high standard of execution and accountability, and continue to make the current day better than the previous one,” said head coach Sam Crosson.
At the annual Blue-Green matchup against the rival UC Santa Barbara Gauchos, Cal Poly scored four unanswered goals to rout the Gauchos, 4-1. Seniors Adam Olsen and Kaba Alkebulan both found the back of Gauchos’ net in their final matches at Alex G. Spanos Stadium in front of a sellout crowd of 11,075 fans – the 14th largest regular season crowd figure in NCAA history and the largest crowd to see a collegiate match in 2017.
The best-attended sporting event annually in San Luis Obispo County, the Cal Poly-UC Santa Barbara series has drawn 20 of the top 53 regular season crowd figures in NCAA history with all matches occurring during the previous 11 seasons. The 12 combined matches between Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara during the last six years are the 12 highest-attended collegiate soccer games in the United States, outranking every NCAA Championship and College Cup contest since the beginning of the 2012 season.
This year’s result marked the first time one squad in the Blue-Green rivalry series had scored as many as four goals against the other since UC Santa Barbara defeated Cal Poly 5-1 on Nov. 9, 2001. It also marked just the third time in 24 meetings since 2007 that one side has defeated the other by more than a single goal.
Women’s golf won its first ever Big West Conference Championship in April, edging UC Riverside by one stroke at the Oak Quarry Golf Club. The Mustangs entered the final round 10 strokes ahead of UC Davis and 12 in front of the defending conference champion Highlanders, who were playing on their home course.
The championship win sent the team to the NCAA women’s golf regional tournament in Albuquerque, N.M., where they placed 16th in their first appearance.
Men’s cross country won its second consecutive conference title at the Big West Cross Country Championships at Riverside, Calif., in October. Mustangs Swarnjit Boyal, Peter Cotsirilos and Mikey Giguere took second, third and fourth place respectively in the 8K event, besting the second closest team by 26 points.
The women’s team, meanwhile, took second place in the championship, edged out by UC Santa Barbara by just two points — the closest margin in the 35-year history of the meet.