Sept. 28, 2013
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -
Despite junior Victoria Lee's 15 kills and .650 hitting average, plus another 16 kills and .393 efficiency by senior opposite Devon Damelio, UC Davis could not hold off Cal State Northridge's middle hitting during a five-set, 19-25, 26-24, 23-25, 25-18, 15-11 setback in Big West Conference women's volleyball action at the Matadome Saturday night.
The Aggies slip to 8-6 overall and open league play at 0-1. The Matadors, among the teams receiving votes in the coaches' Top 25 national poll, improves to 11-3 for the season and 1-0 in Big West matches.
Damelio added 11 digs to her offensive output for her fifth double-double of the year. Lee committed just two hitting errors on 20 swings while posting two solo blocks on net defense. Junior libero Megan Lancaster led UC Davis with 15 digs.
For CSUN, sophomore middle Cieana Stinson led five players with double-digit offense, tallying 19 kills and a .317 average. Junior All-American middle blocker Casey Hinger added 15 kills and a .355 clip on the attack, while tying teammate Natalie Allen with seven stuffs at the net. A third middle, junior Sam Kaul, chipped in 10-1-16 attacking for a .562 success rate. The Matadors totaled 15.0 team blocks for the night, helping offset 16 serving errors.
Senior setter Jenny Woolway recorded 41 assists to raise her career total to 4,013, making her the first player in school history to surpass 4,000 assists.
The Aggies broke free from a tight 11-10 battle, scoring five of the next six to forge ahead to 16-11. Lee had two kills in that stretch, then three different players later scored kills to bring the set to 21-15. UC Davis maintained an edge of at least four points in seizing the initial match lead.
Lee knocked down five kills in the opener then matched that total in the second, but the Northridge hitters improved from their .171 average in the first to a blistering .405 in the second. The two teams clashed in 19 ties, with neither side pulling ahead by more than two. Stinson had six kills in the frame while Hinger provided 5-1-9 attacking with three block assists.
The third set provided the Aggies with momentum after the break. Facing a late 18-14 deficit, Lee powered UC Davis with three kills in a 5-1 run that tied the proceedings at 19-19. Damelio later scored back-to-back kills to bring the score to 22-20, then her sixth of the set made it 23-21. Squyres and junior Quinn put down two more points to hold off CSUN, boosting the Aggies to a 2-1 match lead. Lee was an errorless 4-for-5 on the attack, but the third set also appeared to stir Kaul's offense. She hit 5-0-5 on the opposite end.
The combination of Hinger, Kaul, Stinson and Mahina Haina exploded for another .400-plus set in the fourth. The Matadors led wire-to-wire after a 3-0 start to force the fifth frame. Stinson continued to pound away, scoring six kills in the finale. Meanwhile, UC Davis slipped to match lows in hitting (.000) and side-out conversion (42 percent). The Aggies saw their 3-1 start in the fifth dwindle to a 6-6 tie before Stinson's office and a Brooke Dawson ace helped CSUN craft a 12-8 lead. UC Davis showed some mettle, as Quinn scored a kill and a solo block to close the gap to two. Kaylin Squyres served up an ace to bring the score to 12-11. However, Stinson nailed two more blocks and Allen closed out the match with a solo stuff.
The Aggies move to 0-4 in five-set matches, all against strong opponents: San Diego State on Aug. 30, Illinois State on Sept. 7 and Oregon State on Sept. 14. Northridge was ranked 42nd in Rich Kern's RPI on Monday.
UC Davis continues Big West Conference road action at Cal State Fullerton and UC Riverside on Oct. 4 and 5.