Oct. 6, 2012
IRVINE, Calif. -
Senior outside hitter Allison Whitson knocked down 19 kills and hit .302 while setter Jenny Woolway and defensive specialist Kaitlyn Plum each notched 14 digs in leading UC Davis to a 25-23, 25-21, 25-20 sweep of UC Irvine in Big West Conference women's volleyball action at Crawford Court Saturday evening.
The Aggies even their overall record to 9-9 and improve to 3-2 in conference matches. The Anteaters slip to 8-11 for the year, 3-3 in Big West play.
Whitson committed just six hitting errors on 43 swings en route to her .302 average. Sophomores Victoria Lee and Katie Quinn combined for 11 kills with just one error for a .454 clip in the middle. Junior Devon Damelio added 10 kills with three block assists.
For UCI, junior Aly Squires had a team-best 11 kills and a .281 average, middle blocker Shannon Fleming hit 7-1-20 with seven stuffs, and senior libero Kristin Winkler matched Woolway and Plum with a contest-high 14 digs.
The Aggies pulled away early in the first set when a pair of UCI attack errors gave the guests three straight points to a 9-6 lead. Later, after Fleming and Marissa Alvarez teamed up for a block to cut the deficit to 14-12, a Damelio kill and Quinn solo block pushed UC Davis back up by a 19-13 margin. Squires and freshman Sydney Wright figured on six straight 'Eater points that brought a 22-16 deficit to a 22-22 tie, and another Squires kill locked up the score at 23-23. But sophomore Valerie Brain responded with consecutive kills to close out the set.
Whitson hammered out three kills in a 5-1 run that put UC Davis up to a 10-6 lead. The Anteaters closed to within two points on two occasions before Fleming delivered a kill and an ace to give UCI a 17-16 lead. However, Whitson caught fire for four more kills in a 6-1 stretch that effectively sealed up a 2-0 match lead for UC Davis. Wright sparked a brief Irvine comeback to hold off quintuple set point before Brain brought down the winner at 25-21.
Whitson again sparked a key run in the third, pounding out four kills to lead UC Davis from a 5-4 deficit to an 11-6 advantage. Irvine showed its mettle to approach to within a single point at 12-11 and 13-12, but sophomore Megan Lancaster's ace highlighted another Aggie surge to 17-13. UC Davis maintained at least a three-point cushion the rest of the way in closing out its first 3-0 sweep since clipping Butler in straight sets on September 14.
For the weekend, Whitson finished with 39 kills and 24 digs in seven sets.
The Aggies return home to host UC Santa Barbara and Cal Poly in continued Big West play next Friday and Saturday.