Lee Helps Aggies Edge Host Blue Raiders

Victoria Lee's fifth-set heroics helped UC Davis finish off the Blue Raider Bash with a victory over host Middle Tennessee State.
(Wayne Tilcock, Davis Enterprise)

Aug. 25, 2012

UC Davis 3, Middle Tennessee State 2 | UAB 3, UC Davis 1


Sophomore Victoria Lee tallied career highs of nine kills and nine blocks to help UC Davis complete a 25-22, 18-25, 25-22, 19-25, 15-12 victory over Middle Tennessee State at the Blue Raider Classic women's volleyball tournament Saturday night.

The Aggies, which lost to UAB earlier on Saturday, improves to 2-1 for the year. The host Blue Raiders slip to 1-3 overall.

Lee, who hit .389 in the victory, contributed on exactly half of her team's 18 blocks. Devon Damelio added eight stuffs to go with her 14 kills and eight digs. Overall, UC Davis struggled with its hitting efficiency throughout the match, even slipping into negative percentages in the first and fourth sets. However, both Lee and sophomore Valerie Brain hit 3-for-4 with no errors in the fifth set.

UC Davis fell into a 5-1 hole early in the decisive fifth set before two kills each from Brain and freshman Kaylin Squyres helped even the tally at 8-8. MT senior Ashley Adams scored back-to-back to help put the hosts up by an 11-9 margin, then a Lee kill and a pair of Blue Raider miscues sent the Aggies ahead, 12-11.

Adams tied the frame at 12-12 with her 17th kill of the match but Lee again converted the side out to bump the Aggies ahead. An MT hitting error gave UC Davis match point, then Lee and senior Allison Whitson combined on a block against Katie Bange to close out the marathon match.

The first set also provided a few dramatics, as UC Davis built a 6-1 start and an 11-7 lead before surrendering seven of the next eight to fall into a 17-12 deficit. Lee and Damelio teamed up for consecutive blocks against Adams to help bring the margin back to one, then senior Allison Whitson posted a pair of blocks in a 4-0 run that restored the Aggie lead at 21-19.



Middle Tennessee led wire-to-wire in the second and fourth sets while UC Davis never trailed in the third, setting the stage for the fifth-set thriller.

Whitson recorded a double-double of 13 kills and 13 digs against the Blue Raiders, while serving up two of her team's three aces.

In Saturday's opener, UC Davis claimed a first-set win before falling in four against UAB, losing by scores of 18-25, 25-22, 25-16 and 25-20. Damelio led the Aggies overall, posting a match-high 16 kills with 12 digs and six blocks.

Redshirt freshman Holland Seymour highlighted the UC Davis effort with her fourth-set start. She hit five kills with no errors on seven swings, including shots that gave her team leads at 12-9, 17-16 and 18-17. However, sophomore middle blocker Kiriana Hirini tallied two blocks in a 6-0 finish for UAB.

UC Davis hit .257 in its first-set victory, including an errorless 6-for-13 offensive chart out of Damelio. However, the Aggies slipped to below .100 for the second and third frames, while UAB combined for a .403 success rate in the final two set wins.

The Blazers stuck UC Davis for 17 total blocks. Sam Serley had nine stuffs with her 15-3-26 hitting while Hirini tallied eight blocks to supplement her 12 kills.

For the Aggies, Brain provided eight kills, Lee led the middles with seven block assists, and libero Caroline Mercado paced all players with 15 digs in Saturday's opener.

Damelio was selected to the all-tournament team. Furman's Natalie Braun earned tournament MVP honors.

UC Davis returns home to host the Aggie Invitational on August 31 and September 1, welcoming a field that includes Utah, Santa Clara and North Carolina.