Nov. 2, 2013
DAVIS, Calif. - Senior opposite Devon Damelio posted career highs of 28 kills and 24 digs and served her team back from a 14-10 deficit in the fifth, leading UC Davis to a dramatic five-set, 25-14, 25-21, 20-25, 20-25, 16-14 victory over Cal State Fullerton in Big West Conference women's volleyball action at the Pavilion Saturday afternoon. The win also represented the 100th in the program for sixth-year head coach Jamie Holmes.
The Aggies improve to 14-9 for the year and 6-4 in conference matches. The Titans slip to 9-13 overall and 2-8 in Big West play.
Damelio committed just four hitting errors on 66 swings for a .364 hitting average. She also was one of five players in the match with 20 or more digs. Teammate Megan Lancaster led all players with a career-best 26, while Titans McKenna Patton, Paige Reed and Bre Moreland amassed totals of 22, 22 and 21, respectively. In all, the match featured 216 combined digs.
For UC Davis, junior Mary Schroeder tied her career best of 17 kills. Junior middle blocker Victoria Lee and junior outside hitter Valerie Brain had 10 kills apiece. Freshman Kendall Frisoli posted four aces while senior Lindsay Dowd added another three. In all, the Aggies served up 10 service aces and did not allow one until the third set.
For CSF, Moreland and senior right side Alyse Hensley each finished with 16 kills. Sophomore middle blocker Holland Crenshaw hit an errorless 15-for-31 for a .484 average.
UC Davis enjoyed a dominating first set, largely serving the Titans out of system while nearly matching them dig-for-dig. Lindsay Dowd served up a pair of aces in the Aggies' 11-3 start, then later coaxed CSF into three hitting errors -- two of which resulted in blocks by Victoria Lee -- to put the frame out of reach at 23-13. Schroeder fired a shot off a Titan blocker's head for set point, then Fullerton's side-out attack sailed long for the winner.
While the first set featured 45 combined digs, the second set saw a surge of offense from each team's heavy hitters. Damelio pounded out eight kills to go with nine digs, while the combination of Hensley and Moreland combined for 11 kills after managing none in the opener. The Aggies employed a 7-2 run, sparked by consecutive Jillian Johnson blocks, to establish a 19-12 lead. The Titans later scored six of seven to close the gap to 23-20, but could not completely recover. Damelio's eighth kill of the set scored the 25th and sent UC Davis to the break with a 2-0 edge.
The Titan offense continued through the break into the third, as they hit.385 on 16 kills and just one hitting error in holding off the Aggie sweep. Moreland and freshman Faith Rockmore each had two kills to push CSF to an 11-7 advantage. The Aggies equalized twice and closed to a late 21-19 deficit on a Schroeder tool. However, Moreland put down two more kills in a final 4-1 stretch for the Titans.
The Hensley-Moreland combination again kick-started Fullerton to an early 9-4 lead in the fourth set. UC Davis pulled to within a 12-10 hole thanks to Frisoli's service ace but the Titans later scored three unanswered to set the board at 17-12. The Aggies cut the margin to two points on five separate occasions but could not equalize. Hensley had two block assists in the final six points to tie the match and force the rubber set.
Although the Aggies seized an early lead to the finale, Fullerton scored six straight to forge a 12-7 lead. Moreland fired a kill down the line to make it 13-9 then scored on an offspeed shot to give the Titans a commanding 14-10 match-point lead. Damelio converted the side out with her 26th kill to put herself on the service line. Between her serving and three straight kills by Schroeder, UC Davis finished with six straight to erase its seemingly insurmountable deficit.
This is the ninth time these two teams have battled to a full five sets in the last 14 meetings. The Aggies avenge their Oct. 4 road setback in which the Titans nearly squandered a 2-0 match lead.
Holmes is now the third coach to reach the century mark with UC Davis women's volleyball, joining Cal Aggie Athletics Hall of Famers Kathy DeYoung (1978-87) and Marlene Piper (1988-93).
The Aggies return to action at Long Beach State on Friday.