Oct. 23, 2010
DAVIS, Calif. -
Junior middle blocker Betsy Sedlak hit 10 kills and tied a career-high nine blocks while senior libero Kayla Varney tallied a match-high 17 digs and three of her team's eight aces, lifting UC Davis to a 25-16, 25-11, 25-17 sweep of UC Riverside in Big West Conference women's volleyball action at Upper Hickey Gym Saturday night.
The Aggies improve to 15-7 for the season and 6-3 in conference matches. The Highlands fall to 2-21 overall and remain winless in the Big West at 0-9.
Sedlak, who posted seven blocks in the first set, committed just one hitting error in 15 swings for a .600 hitting average. Whitson hammered away at a .429 clip, senior opposite Melanie Adams delivered 8-2-17 hitting with five blocks. As a team, UC Davis compiled 11 stuffs. On offense, the Aggies outhit their guests by a .318 to .059 margin, holding a 40-26 edge in total kills.
Senior outside hitter Kelly Simpson paced the Highlanders with 10 kills and 33 attempts. Sophomore Bianca Endersby contributed six kills and four block assists to the UCR cause.
The UC Davis net play began to surface midway in the first frame when Sedlak combined with freshman Morgan Borch on an assist then followed with a solo during a run of six straight, giving the Aggies a 15-7 lead. Sedlak later teamed up on four straight block assists - two with Adams, two with Borch - to extend the UC Davis advantage to 22-11. She later sent a long tip to an open expanse of UCR court for a 24-12 set point then, after the Highlanders scrambled to four straight, Whitson clipped the top of the Riverside block for the winner.
The Aggies jumped out to a 6-1 start in the second set, then held an 11-5 after Whitson's ace sent the Highlanders to a timeout. Adams put up a block on UCR sophomore Amanda Vialpando then scored a kill to make it 16-9. Simpson converted the side out to cut the lead to six, then Whitson tallied four straight kills to stretch the UC Davis lead to 20-10. She added her sixth kill of the frame in support of Adams' serving. After Adams' served up an ace for the 23rd point, reserve middle blocker Winsome Hitchcock put down a pair of kills to close out the victory and send the Aggies to the break with a 2-0 match lead.
Overall, UC Davis hit .370 and .407 in the first two sets, compared to Riverside's efficiency rates of .031 and .062.
The Aggies scored 10 of the first 12 points in the third set thanks in part to four kills and a block assist from Sedlak. Varney served back-to-back aces to stretch the lead to 12-4, but UC Davis struggled to five hitting errors during the next stretch to see its lead diminish to just 15-13. However, kills from junior Katie Denny and sophomore Devon Damelio revived the Aggie offense, which finished the set on a 7-2 run.
Sedlak finished the week with 17 total blocks, having tallied eight in UC Davis' five-set win at San Francisco on Tuesday. She had totaled nine stuffs on three previous occasions but Saturday's performance was her first in a three-set match.
The Aggies return to action for road Big West matches at UC Irvine and Cal State Northridge on October 29 and 30.