Aggies outlast Titans in five-set marathon

Oct. 14, 2017

Final Stats

FULLERTON, Calif. - Freshman opposite Mahalia White led with 19 kills, junior libero Malia Bolko tied her career best of 31 digs, and juniors left-siders Brianna Karsseboom and Emily Allen each posted double-doubles, helping UC Davis hold on to a five-set, 19-25, 25-22, 25-19, 16-25, 18-16 win over Cal State Fullerton in a Big West Conference women’s volleyball match at Titan Gym Saturday night.

The Aggies pick up their third straight victory, improving to 11-9 for the year and 3-4 in conference. The Titans move to 4-16 overall and remain winless in Big West play at 0-7.

Bolko’s season-high 31 digs matches the career high she first notched almost exactly one year ago in the same gym. White only had five attacking errors in her 47 attempt en route to a .298 average. Karsseboom posted 17 kills with 14 digs while Allen had 15 kills and 15 digs for the match. Junior middle blocker Kelechi Ohiri made it four Aggie players with double-digit offense, thanks to 10 kills on 21 hits.

For CSF, junior outside hitter Madeline Schneider turned in a command performance with 26 kills on just three hitting errors for a .371 success rate. She had nine kills in her team’s fourth-set win, which forced the fifth and deciding frame.

The Aggies stumbled early in the match, committing eight attack errors and three serving errors en route to a first-set loss. However, Karsseboom knocked down five kills in her team’s second-set win, including three during a stretch that broke open a 10-10 tie into a 15-11 lead. The Titans eventually came back and even took as late as a 20-18 lead on a Summer Kerins kill. Allen teamed with fellow junior Lauren Jackson for a block then followed with a kill in a 4-0 run that restored the UC Davis edge to 22-20. CSF managed to tie the frame at 22-all before the Aggies settled in for three straight points. Jackson converted a side out with her kill at 23-22, then posted a solo stuff for a 24-22 set point. Allen followed with a service ace, tying the match at 1-1 going into the break.

White scored six kills while Karsseboom and Allen added another five each as UC Davis hit .385 with 19 kills in the third. The Aggies never trailed in the set, scoring the first four points en route to an 8-3 start, later notching four straight to pull away from a 9-8 battle, then holding at least a four-point advantage down the stretch.

Cal State Fullerton flipped the script in its fourth-set equalizer, committing only one error to the Aggies’ nine, and hitting .500 to UC Davis’ .077 woes on offense. Schneider notched three kills in the Titans’ 9-2 start, and CSF stayed out of reach into the fifth. But Karsseboom, who struggled in the fourth, found her stride in the finale. She put down to kills while Bolko served up two aces in an 8-2 start to the rubber set. 

UC Davis stayed in front of its host until a 4-0 run brought CSF to within just a 13-12 deficit. Karsseboom placed a shot deep into the Titan defense for a 14-12 match point, but Schneider converted the side out with her 26th kill and Katie Roux served up ace to tie the set at 14-14. The two teams slugged it out for two more ties before UC Davis finished off the win: White drilled a shot down the right line, and Schneider – who had only committed two hitting errors in 61 previous swings during Saturday’s match – sent a back-row shot into the net.

In all, the match lasted two hours, 26 minutes and 210 total points, equaling the September 8 five-setter with Boise State in both quantities as the longest of the year.

UC Davis returns to home action on Tuesday with the annual Dig Pink home match against UC Santa Barbara. The 7 p.m. match will be preceded by a 6 p.m. Women In Sports Day tailgate event in support of the Marya Welch Initiative for Women’s Athletics. The event includes games, entertainment, plus a meet-and-greet with current and former Aggie student-athletes, including two-time Olympian Kim Conley.

Providing a small-town community feel while providing a world-class academic experience, UC Davis is home to more than 37,000 students and centrally located between San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, and the Napa Valley. The No. 6-ranked public university in the nation according to the Wall Street Journal, and among the top 10 public universities nationwide according to U.S. News and World Report, UC Davis offers nearly 100 graduate programs and more than 100 academic majors across four colleges and six professional schools, ranking among the world and nation’s best in numerous disciplines, including veterinary science, agriculture, and plant and animal programs.

Season and single-game tickets for all UC Davis fall sports are now on sale by contacting the Athletics Ticket Office at (530) 752-AGS1 or by visiting us online at