Nov. 24, 2012
STOCKTON, Calif. - Sophomore opposite Valerie Brain hit 14 kills while middle blockers Katie Quinn and Victoria Lee combined for an 17-1-32 attacking line and a .500 average as UC Davis women's volleyball ended its 2012 season with a four-set, 25-23, 25-14, 20-25, 25-15 victory over Pacific at the Alex G. Spanos Center Saturday night.
The Aggies finish the year at 17-14 overall and 11-7 in Big West Conference play. The Tigers wrap up at 20-11 for the year and 8-10 in league matches.
Brain committed just four errors on 35 swings to finish with a .286 hitting average. Allison Whitson added 12 kills with seven digs and four blocks, Caroline Mercado led all players with 15 digs and Kaitlyn Plum tallied 10 digs -- each concluding their respective collegiate careers. Lee hit an errorless 9-for-16 for the night and paced the defense with eight total blocks, while Quinn finished with eight kills and three service aces.
For Pacific, junior Jennifer Sanders led with 14 kills and a .286 average while outside hitter Megan Birch added 11 kills. Freshman Mia Feiner led four Tigers with double-figure digs at 14. Setter Hannah Clancy and libero Koala Matsuoka each chipped in 12.
Lee powered the Aggies with 4-for-8 hitting in the first set, including three kills and a block in a 13-1 that turned a 9-7 Tiger lead to a 20-10 UC Davis advantage. Pacific fought back by scoring seven of eight to pull within a 21-17 margin before Devon Damelio's kill stopped the bleeding. The Tigers later enjoyed a strong scoring run, fighting off five straight set points to take a 24-19 hole to a 24-23 deficit. Gillian Howard and Gabby Cowden teamed up for a block to cap that run. Again, UC Davis answered at just the right time, with Valerie Brain's line shot finding a spot inside the boundary for the winner.
The Aggies took control in the second set, hitting a torrid .419 on 15 kills with just two attack errors offensively, while combining for six blocks at the net. Lee has four stuffs during a 7-0 run that propelled UC Davis to a 11-5 lead, then delivered another block assist and a kill in her team's 8-2 finish to the frame. The Pacific block, which had victimized its guests to four blocks in the first set, became a device for the Aggies in their second-set finish: Brain, Katie Quinn and Damelio scored kills on four straight tools down the stretch. UC Davis converted 13 of 15 side-out opportunities in the second.
Pacific enjoyed its best effort in the fourth, improving from a combined .137 average in the first two sets to hit .316 in the third. Gillian Howard contributed on back-to-back blocks during a 7-0 Tiger run that resulted in a 20-11 edge. Sophomore Katy Tagart added two kills down the stretch to finish off the set win and prevent an Aggie sweep. Sanders finished with five kills on nine swings in that third set.
After battling to a 6-6 tie early in the fourth, Brain posted a kill and a block assist amidst a run of five unanswered UC Davis points to take a 11-6 lead. That run increased to an 11-2 stretch as Plum and Quinn served up three aces in a span of five points. Sanders sparked a brief comeback for Pacific with a pair of kills but her team never approached by less than seven the rest of the way. Whitson served up four straight points to pad the Aggie lead to 23-11.
Whitson finished her career with 1,620 kills, good for second in program history. Mercado also enjoyed a milestone career, having hit the 1,000-dig mark a week earlier against Cal State Northridge. She finishes at 1,032 overall, seventh in the UC Davis record book.