LONG BEACH, Calif. - Freshman Mahalia White posted a career-high 27 kills with a .447 hitting average, while junior outside hitter Brianna Karsseboom provided another 8-1-16 line on the attacking chart, helping UC Davis complete a four-set, 17-25, 25-22, 25-14, 25-22 victory over Long Beach State in Big West Conference women’s volleyball action at the Pyramid Friday night.The Aggies complete the season sweep of the 49ers, improving to 12-11 overall and 4-6 in conference play. LBSU falls to 6-18 for the year and 3-8 in Big West matches. White’s previous best was a 23-kill performance against the 49ers just three weeks earlier. The organizational studies student from Canoga Park had more than half of UC Davis’ 53 team kills. As a team, the Aggies hit a season-best .304, thanks to White’s .447, Karsseboom’s .438 and junior Kelechi Ohiri’s .357 (7-2-14). Defensively, junior libero Malia Bolko totaled 18 digs while junior Lauren Jackson led the net play with four blocks. For the Beach, sophomore Hailey Harward posted a double-double of 11 kills and 13 digs while YiZhi “Eri” Xue chipped in 8-1-15 hitting for a .467 success rate. White had three of her six first-set kills during a 10-7 start to the match until junior opposite Emma Kirst served two aces in a 5-0 run that gave Long Beach State a 12-10 edge and the lead for good. White and Ohiri later teamed up for a block to cut the margin to a single point at 14-13, but the Aggies could not equalize. The 49ers scored four straight after that point to stretch their advantage to 18-13, and protected at least a four-point lead the rest of the way. White continued to fire in the second set, scoring four kills in a 13-8 UC Davis start. LBSU fought back to a 14-14 tie on a Harward service ace, then later took its first lead of the frame when Xue returned an errant free ball in the middle. However, Emily Allen served up an ace and the 49ers committed a pair of hitting errors in a 4-0 run that restored the UC Davis lead to 19-16. Karsseboom put down two kills down the stretch to set the lead at 23-19, then White established set point with her cross-court kill. Allen smashed Bolko’s underhand set for the 25th, sending the two teams into the break with a 1-1 match tie. UC Davis continued its momentum through the break and into its dominant third set. The Aggies hit just one attacking error in the stanza en route to a .440 average, while the 49ers went from seven hitting errors in the first two sets to 10 total in the third. Ohiri led the offense with four kills while Karsseboom provided another three in the wire-to-wire victory. A 4-0 start grew to as much as a 16-7 advantage after Ohiri teamed with setter Paloma Bowman on a block. Allen, Ohiri and White each recorded two kills in a 9-3 run to finish the set. The Beach regrouped to a 12-5 start to the fourth set, but Ohiri hit back-to-back kills in a 4-0 comeback run that closed the gap to 12-9. Ohiri later came up with a solo stuff against Xue, and White’s tipped kill kept UC Davis within a three-point margin before a LBSU net violation and a long ball reduced the 49er lead to just 15-14. After a 49er timeout, White struck for consecutive kills for a 16-15 lead, UC Davis’ first advantage of the set. Bolko served up an ace and White fired another pair of kills to extend the unanswered run to eight and the gap to 19-15. The resilient 49ers fought back to a 20-19 deficit, then appeared to equalize at 20-20 on an apparent White attacking error. However, with the match televised on ESPN3, the video review protocol was in place. UC Davis head coach Dan Conners successfully challenged the ruling, which became a White kill and a 21-19 lead. Jackson and junior setter Maddie Merlino combined on a block by LBSU’s left pin to make it 22-19. White tooled the 49er block from just behind the 10-foot line for the 23rd point. A long, scrambling rally ended with Karsseboom hammering a kill for a 24-20 match point. The 49ers fought off two points until Merlino set a perfect four to Karsseboom, who slammed it home for the match-winner. The Aggies last broke the .300 mark against UC Irvine in the 2016 home finale on November 16. UC Davis finishes its Southern California road trip in another ESPN3 match at CSUN, located a mere four miles away from White’s alma mater of Chatsworth Charter High School. Match time is 7 p.m. ABOUT UC DAVIS
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. DON’T MISS OUT!
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