Sept. 11, 2012
DAVIS, Calif. - Despite 20 kills and .486 hitting from junior outside hitter Devon Damelio, UC Davis was unable to contain USF's two potent hitters, falling in a four-set, 25-16, 21-25, 25-22, 25-21 non-conference women's volleyball match at Pavilion in front of 307 Tuesday night.
The Aggies flip to 4-6 for the year. The Dons, who upset California earlier this season, improve to 8-3 overall.
Damelio's kill total fell just one shy of her career high, although this was her best-ever total for a four-set match. She committed just two hitting errors in 37 swings, while providing 14 digs and two block assists on defense. Sophomore Valerie Brain also provided some offensive punch with 14 kills on 38 attacks. Victoria Lee added six kills and a team-high five blocks for UC Davis.
For USF, freshman outside hitter Ester De Vries powered her team to 26 kills and a .412 attack rate. Senior Jocelyn Levig chipped in 21 kills with 17 digs, while sophomore libero Rebecca Kopilovitch led all players with 26 digs.
UC Davis dug itself into an early hole in the first set, committing four attack errors in falling behind by a 10-4 margin. Although the Aggies only suffered three hitting miscues for the remainder of the set, USF hit 15 kills on 29 swings for a blistering .448 percentage in taking the win. De Vries hit 5-for-7 without an error to lead the Dons offensively in the opener.
However, numerous UC Davis players entered the fray in tying the match. Lee put back a free ball into the USF open court then delivered back-to-back stuffs to help the Aggies soldier their way to a 10-6 lead. Senior defensive specialist Kaitlyn Plum picked up a pair of solid digs in that 3-0 run. Later in the frame, setter Jenny Woolway sent a left-handed kill over the net for a side out, then served up an ace on the next point to give UC Davis a 20-16 lead. The Dons fought back on two occasions, first getting a pair of DeVries kills to cut the Aggie margin to 22-21. Damelio ended the comeback with a kill, forcing USF to call a timeout.
During that timeout, Aggie head coach Jamie Holmes summoned a substitution. She put sophomore Mary Schroeder on the front lines and sent setter Lindsay Dowd to the service line. On the next point, Schroeder blocked the nearly unstoppable DeVries near the right pin to give the Aggies a 24-22 set point. Dowd followed with an ace that edged over the net for the victory, tying the match at the break.
UC Davis continued strong out of the gates in the pivotal third set, crafting a 6-2 lead. But the Dons battled back eventually tying the frame at 15-15 behind two thunderous De Vries kills. Senior Alycia Cox fired a kill from the back row to tip the score to USF for the first time in the third, 16-15.
Levig tipped over a stray overpass to give USF a 22-19 lead but the Aggies responded with three straight to tie the set. Allison Whitson hammered a shot down the line then slammed a Don free ball into the open court, while another big Plum dig aided a Damelio kill during that comeback run. However, Levig foiled the Aggie threat, knocking down two kills in her team's 3-0 finish in the third.
USF enjoyed a 9-2 run midway through the fourth set, helped by an ace and kill from Levig, then back-to-back kills by De Vries, followed by three Aggie hitting errors. A 9-9 tie turned to an 18-12 Don lead, and UC Davis never equalized. Lee and Damelio's zero block against DeVries led to a net ball to cut the margin to 22-19, but that was the closest the Aggies came to forcing a fifth set.
Four UC Davis players finished with double-figured digs in the match: Woolway had 17, libero Caroline Mercado posted 16, Damleio added 14 and Whitson finished with 11.
The Aggies return to the road at the Butler Invitational, facing Kent State, Butler and Southeast Missouri during the Friday-Saturday tournament.