Oct. 12, 2012
DAVIS, Calif. - UC Davis junior Devon Damelio tallied 12 kills, 14 digs and four blocks but UC Santa Barbara's offensive surge after the break delivered the Gauchos a 25-21, 20-25, 25-11, 25-23 victory over the host Aggies in Big West Conference women's volleyball action at the Pavilion Friday.
UC Davis dips to 9-10 overall and evens its conference record to 3-3. UCSB improves to 10-11 for the season and 3-3 in Big West play.
Sophomore Valerie Brain tallied 11 kills on 31 swings while senior Allison Whitson posted 13 kills with 12 digs for the Aggies. Sophomore middle blocker Victoria Lee tallied 8-3-18 offense to go with six blocks.
For the Gauchos, junior outside hitter Leah Sully led with 13 kills while Britton Taylor and Jenna Wilson each had 12. Freshman libero Taylor Formico picked up a match-high 20 digs and served up four aces.
Wilson hit a perfect 6-for-6 and added three blocks to lead the Gauchos to their first-set win. All three of her stuffs came as part of a 5-0 run that put UCSB up by a 13-8 margin. Lee hit a pair of kills to help UC Davis battle to within a two-point deficit at 19-17, but Wilson responded with kills on two of the next three points. Junior outside hitter Kara Sherrard added two more kills down the stretch to help the Gauchos finish off the set victory.
UCSB continued to rally into the second set, crafting a 6-1 start. But the Aggies answered with a 6-1 run of their own to tie the frame at 7-7. After the Gauchos reclaimed the edge at 12-10, UC Davis scored five straight to forge a 15-12 advantage. The Aggies never trailed for the rest of the set although an ace from UCSB freshman Shauna Klein did close the gap to 21-20. Whitson delivered a kill on the next serve, sophomore Megan Lancaster served up an ace to make it 23-20, Lee and Damelio combined on a block near their right pin for set point, then Valerie Brain knocked down the winner with a missile off the hands of Formico. Whitson posted six kills on 16 swings in the second set.
However, the Gauchos stormed to a dominating third set and a 17-9 lead in the fourth. Formico served up three aces in a 10-2 start to the third. UCSB had 12 kills with no errors on its first 20 swings in the third, never trailing in the frame. The Gauchos continued to pound away with .400 hitting in their 17-9 start but UC Davis slowly chipped away, scoring eight of the the next 11 to cut the margin to 20-17.
Facing a 24-20 quadruple match point, the Aggies added a late flourish with three straight points. A Gaucho net ball made it 24-21, Whitson and Lee combined on a block for the 22nd UC Davis point, and a Whitson cross-court kill cut the Gaucho lead to just one. But on the next serve, Whitson's shot sailed long for the match-winner.
UC Davis hit just .105 in the third and fourth combined after attacking at a .311 rate in the second-set victory.
The Aggies complete their home weekend with a match against Cal Poly on Saturday at 7 p.m.