DAVIS, Calif. - Junior libero Malia Bolko eclipsed the school's single-season digs record and freshman Mahalia White notched a team-best 13 kills, but UC Davis ultimately fell to Hawai'i in straight sets, 25-18, 25-11, 25-12, in Big West Conference women's volleyball action at the Pavilion Thursday night.
The Aggies slip to 16-13 for the year and end their conference slate at 8-8. The Rainbow Wahine improve to 19-7 overall and 13-2 in Big West play.
Bolko finished the match with 14 digs on the night, bringing her season total to 529. That surpasses the previous benchmark of 526, set by Nichole Brown in her lone collegiate season of 2005, when the university was in its third year of its NCAA Division I reclassification. White hit .296, with just five attacking errors on 27 swings. However, the remainder of the UC Davis team matched her 13 kills and had 18 hitting errors for a negative-.078 success rate.
In contrast, Hawai'i hit .402 with just six attacking errors, including none in the the second set. Junior outside hitter McKenna Granato led the way with an errorless 14-for-23 hitting chart and a career-best .609 average. Senior right side Kendra Koelsch added 9-0-15 (.600) hitting while setter/opposite Norene Iosia provided another 6-for-14 attacking, also without an error.
UC Davis gave its closest challenge in the opener, recovering from an early 9-4 deficit to pull within a 15-14 margin. White had a tool then a block assist to get the Aggies to that point. However, Iosia and senior Emily Maglio had two kills apiece as the 'Bows scored 10 of the last 14 to pick off the first set.
Granato, who hit 5-0-7 in the first set, matched that exact line in the second. Hawai'i hit .615 for the frame, employing a 5-0 start to craft an initial 10-4 lead, then gradually pulled away to a 14-point victory and a 2-0 match lead. White and Bolko were bright spots for the Aggies in the second. White had four kills on eight attempts while Bolko scooped up five digs.
The third set followed a similar pattern as the second, with Gianna Guinasso's serving highlighting a run of seven unanswered to erase an early 4-3 Aggie lead. Granato's back-to-back kills made it a 10-point margin at 15-5. White briefly ended that run with the third of her six third-set kills, but UC Davis could not reduce its deficit by fewer than nine points the rest of the way.
UH held the overall edge in kills (43-26), aces (7-3), digs (35-34) and blocks (9-2).
Thursday's home finale served as a tribute to two redshirt juniors who have opted to graduate this year. Defensive specialist Katie Campbell saw action in the first and third sets, the latter appearance helping to stablize the Aggie passing line. Middle blocker Kelechi Ohiri had three kills and two blocks in her final home match. Both players were honored prior to the first serve.
UC Davis travels to Colorado State on Saturday, November 25 for its 2017 season finale.
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!
Season and single-game tickets for all UC Davis winter sports are now on sale by contacting the Athletics Ticket Office at (530) 752-AGS1 or by visiting us online at UCDavisAggies.com.