Nov. 9, 2012
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - Senior outside hitter Allison Whitson scored a match-high 19 kills and led three Aggies with .400-plus hitting to boost UC Davis to a 25-10, 25-23, 29-27 sweep of Cal Poly in BIg West Conference women's volleyball action at Mott Gymnasium Friday night.
The Aggies improve to 14-13 overall and 8-6 in conference play. The Mustangs slip to 3-22 for the year and 2-11 in Big West matches.
Whitson committed only two hitting errors in 36 swings to record a season-high .472 attack average. Junior Devon Damelio hit 9-2-17 for a .412 success rate while sophomore Katie Quinn finished 7-2-11 in the middle for a .455 clip. Quinn also led all players with five blocks, one ahead of sophomore teammate Mary Schroeder. Setters Jenny Woolway and Lindsay Dowd collected 26 and 13 assists, respectively, splitting reps in UC Davis' 6-2 system.
For Cal Poly, junior outside hitter Holly Franks had 13 kills with just three errors for a .455 average while Chelsea Hardin added 11 kills. Junior middle Megan McConnell posted a match-high 13 digs.
UC Davis did not commit a single attacking error in a dominating opener, finishing at 15-0-29 for a blistering .517 average. Whitson was 6-for-11 in the first set while Quinn added 3-0-4 hitting. Additionally, the Aggies also were 10-for-10 on side-out opportunities. Quinn and Schroeder each teamed up for a pair of blocks in a 9-1 finish to the frame, most of which came in support of Dowd's serving. The junior setter also had an ace during that run.
Cal Poly managed to hold its guest closer in the second although UC Davis never trailed after a 4-1 start. After a kill by Molly Pon tied the set at 4-4, the Aggies rattled off five of the next six to craft a 9-5 lead. Damelio had two kills in a 5-1 run to set the UC Davis lead to 16-11 while a pair of Quinn kills kept the cushion at 18-14 later in the frame. However, the Mustangs battled back to a 19-19 tie behind back-to-back kills from Pon. Damelio responded with two kills in the next four serves to put UC Davis back up by a 22-20 edge, only to have Hardin deliver two kills in a 3-1 run that tied the frame at 23-23. The Aggies finished up the set on kills by Quinn and Whitson, and took a 2-0 match lead into the break.
The third set proved to be the most hotly contested with the two teams battling to 13 ties. Oddly, the Aggies never held the lead until Valerie Brain's two kills spurred a run of six unanswered, transforming a 23-18 Cal Poly lead into a 24-23 match point for UC Davis. Pon ended Dowd's reign at the service line with a side-out kill, and the two teams traded points until Whitson hit back-to-back kills -- her seventh and eighth in the third stanza -- to close out the set and finish the sweep.
Both teams engaged in an offensive slugfest in that final set, posting 20 kills and better than .400 hitting each. Whitson had eight of those kills while Brain had six, compiling attack averages of .583 and .455, respectively. Hardin had six kills, Franks added five and Pon chipped in four for Cal Poly's third-set offense.
Whitson's .472 hitting is her best for a match since compiling a .522 rate against Pacific to start the Big West slate in 2011.
UC Davis concludes the Central Coast road trip with a match at UC Santa Barbara Saturday night.