Oct. 26, 2012
FULLERTON, Calif. - Senior outside hitter Allison Whitson posted team highs of 15 kills and 19 digs to lead UC Davis to a four-set, 22-25, 26-24, 25-15, 25-19 victory over Cal State Fullerton in Big West Conference women's volleyball action at Titan Gym Friday night.
The Aggies, avenging a five-set loss to the Titans from one month ago, improve to 11-12 overall and 5-5 in Big West play. CSF moves to identical records of 11-12 and 5-5.
The win also marks the 100th for Jamie Holmes as a head women's coach. She picked up 20 victories at NAIA-member Evangel University in Springfield, Mo. Friday's win is her 80th at the helm at UC Davis. The fifth-year Aggie mentor also coached one year of men's volleyball at her alma mater, Bethany University.
Whitson's digs total marks her career high for a four-set match. Sophomore outside hitter Valerie Brain added 11 kills, junior Devon Damelio chipped in eight kills with 11 digs and five blocks, and sophomore middle blocker Katie Quinn provided .312 hitting on 16 swings with a match-high seven stuffs.
For Cal State Fullerton, senior Kayla Neto tallied 20 kills on 62 attempts - almost 40 percent of her team's 158 attacks. Libero Gabrielle Dewberry posted 23 digs to lead all floor defenders. However, the Titans committed 32 hitting errors to post a .127 team average, and suffered from 10 service errors.
The Aggies struggled offensively in the first set, managing just 10 kills in the three-point loss. Damelio served up an ace while Whitson and Quinn each tallied kills in a 7-2 start, but three kills by freshman middle blocker Holland Crenshaw sparked a 6-0 run that gave the Titans an 8-7 lead. UC Davis tied the frame at 11-11 but never regained the lead, falling behind by a 19-15 margin on Bre Moreland's ace. Whitson scored kills to bring the Aggies back to 19-18 and 20-19 gaps but a pair of UC Davis hitting errors pushed the Titans to a 24-21 set point. They scored the winner on an Aggie serving error two points later.
CSF continued its momentum into the second set, with junior Leah Best's back-to-back kills spotting the hosts a 7-5 lead. Damelio and Brain answered with successive kills, then a string of Titan attacking miscues allowed the Aggies to score six straight in taking a 11-7 lead. Fullerton found its way back to a 13-13 tie - one of 14 ties in the second set alone - and even held a 23-22 edge late in the frame. A Whitson hitting error gave the Titans a 24-23 set point and a chance to take a 2-0 match lead, but she regrouped to put down a pair of kills in a 3-0 finish.
The Aggies came out firing in the third, scoring the first four points and seven of the first eight. Quinn had five of her nine total kills in this set while the Titans struggled to minus-.065 offense. Although CSF eventually fought back from a 14-6 deficit to within a 17-14 margin, UC Davis tightened the screws defensively: Damelio and Quinn combined on a pair of blocks in a run of seven unanswered to finish the set.
Whitson and Damelio combined for an errorless 7-for-11 hitting for the final frame in which the Aggies never trailed. Senior libero Caroline Mercado served up an ace amidst UC Davis' 4-1 start, sophomore Mary Schroeder connected on two blocks to stretch a 13-11 edge to an 18-12 advantage. The Aggies finished the contest with four straight points. Quinn recorded a kill and a block while setter Lindsay Dowd served up an ace in the match's final stretch.
The Aggies finish their third conference road trip with a 7 p.m. match at UC Riverside on Saturday.