Aug 31, 2013
BATON ROUGE, La. - Sophomore middle blocker Kaylin Squyres combined for 37 kills in eight sets while senior Devon Damelio recorded a pair of double-doubles, but UC Davis came up on the losing end of two four-set matches at the Tiger Classic women's volleyball tournament at the Maravich Center on Saturday. The Aggies lost to host LSU by scores of 31-29, 19-25, 25-27, 23-25 in the day's opener, then fell to UTSA, 21-25, 23-25, 25-23, 18-25 in the evening session.
UC Davis opens the year at 0-3.
Squyres had 24 kills against LSU - the most by an Aggie in a four-set match since Renee Ibekwe scored 25 against Fordham in 2008. Damelio recorded 15 kills and 16 digs against LSU, 13 kills and 16 digs against UTSA. Junior middle blocker Victoria Lee hit 19 kills with just two errors for a .486 average in the two matches.
UC Davis surrendered late leads in each of the first two sets in the nightcap loss to UTSA. Squyres and Lee combined for three kills to give the Aggies their first lead at 8-7, only to have the Roadrunners later score three straight in retaking a 12-10 lead. Damelio and junior middle Katie Quinn quickly answered with kills to tie the frame at 12-12, then Squyres scored another to put UC Davis back up by one. Quinn's ace and kills by Squyres and Damelio kept the Aggies on top later in the set before senior Mackenzie Adams scored two kills and sophomore setter Erin Foley served up an ace to turn the 20-19 UC Davis lead to a 22-20 UTSA advantage. The `Runners scored three straight to complete the first-set victory.
Damelio and junior Valerie Brain sparked a 4-0 run that turned an 8-6 deficit into a 10-8 Aggie lead early in the second. UC Davis held its first four-point lead, 16-12, on a Roadrunner hitting error. Another Damelio kill made it 19-16 in the Aggies' favor before UTSA ran off four straight to claim a 20-19 lead. Although Damelio and Brain managed game-tying kills, UC Davis could not restore its lead. A key solo block by freshman Tessa Dahnert helped the Roadrunners finish the set and take a 2-0 match lead.
The Aggies gave up a late lead in the third set as well, but recovered in time to prevent a UTSA sweep. After a Quinn kill put UC Davis up by an 18-16 lead, Adams sparked a 4-0 `Runner comeback run with two kills, setting the board at 20-18. This time, Adams suffered from a pair of hitting errors and one service error down the stretch, eventually providing the Aggies with a 24-21 set point. UTSA fought back for a couple of points but sophomore Holland Seymour converted a side-out kill to complete the victory.
Save for spotting UC Davis a 2-1 start, the Roadrunners never trailed in the fourth. Kylie Schott recorded a kill and a block assist to stretch a 12-10 lead to 15-10 midway through the action. The Aggies fought back to within two on Quinn's service ace before Dempsey Thornton scored two kills in a 3-0 run to bump the UTSA lead back to five. UC Davis never crept to within less than four points the rest of the way, and Adams scored her 23rd overall kill to complete the match win.
Adams, the preseason Conference USA Player of the Year, finished with 23 kills and 18 digs against the Aggies.
In Saturday's opening match, UC Davis fell in four hotly contested sets to the host Tigers, despite the career-high 24 kills from Squyres. Lee hit 10-1-19 offensively for a .474 hitting percentage while Squyres committed just five attack errors to finish at .345. As a team, UC Davis hit a solid .279 overall, but the efficiency was offset by two LSU heavy hitters. Tiger sophomore Cati Leak powered her way to 31 kills and a .452 average while senior middle Desiree Elliott contributed 22 kills and a .487 clip.
The Aggies and Tigers battled to 18 ties and exchanged the lead six times in the 60-point opening set. Squyres had nine kills and six digs in that frame, posting back-to-back winners that erased a 25-24 LSU set point. UC Davis held set point four times after that, with Brain completing the win with consecutive kills for the 30th and 31st tallies.
However, the second set belonged to the Tigers, who jumped out to a 7-1 lead behind two Laura Whalen service aces. Elliott posted two kills and a block assist amidst a 5-0 run that pushed LSU to 17-8, then managed three more kills to keep UC Davis at a 21-13 deficit. Although a pair of late kills by Squyres trimmed the lead to four, the Tigers completed the wire-to-wire win. Elliott hit her seventh kill of the second set to even the match into the break.
In similar fashion to the second set, LSU jumped out early to leads of 5-2 and 8-3. Squyres and Quinn sparked an Aggie comeback to 9-8, but the Tigers immediately responded with three unanswered. LSU managed to hold its lead until a 24-22 double set point. However, Squyres and Lee came up with kills in the middle, then a Tiger error put UC Davis in the driver's seat at 25-24. Leak, who hit 10-1-14 in the third set alone, put the Tigers back on track with two kills down the stretch.
LSU continued its trend of claiming early leads, taking seven of the first eight in the fourth. UC Davis cut the margin to two points on four different occasions, then pulled to within a single point at 20-19. The Aggies never did equalize, committing two hitting errors and a service error during the final seven-point stretch.
Damelio finished with 15 kills and 16 digs for her first double-double of the year. Freshman libero Kendall Frisoli added 15 digs with Allie Wegener providing another nine. Senior Jenny Woolway recorded 62 assists in the morning match with LSU before splitting time with senior Lindsay Dowd in a 6-2 system against UTSA.
Squyres, who averaged 3.85 kills per set during the three weekend matches, was the lone Aggie selected to the Tiger Classic All-Tournament team. LSU's Leak earned MVP distinction.
UC Davis continues tournament action at Nevada for the Wolf Pack Invitational on Sept. 5-7.