Aggie Volleyball Ends Season On High Note For Seniors

Nov. 27, 2004


DAVIS, Calif. - Senior libero Mary McClelland recorded a school-record 36 digs while sophomore Nicole Read had 18 kills and a career-high 27 digs to lead UC Davis to a 30-24, 16-30, 30-23, 26-30, 15-11 win over Cal Poly in a women's collegiate volleyball match at the Pavilion Saturday.

The Aggies finish the season at 3-21. The Mustangs end their year with a 5-24 overall mark. The match also represented the final collegiate match for six UC Davis seniors: McClelland, Kate Wilton, Kim Vincent, Marritt Cafarchia, Ingrid Nuss and Mary Gaber.

"All the pressure was on the seniors today and they responded very well," said Aggie head coach Stephanie Hawbecker. "It was a very emotional day that everybody handled very well."

"Ever since the Pacific match two weeks ago, we've had great practices, we had a solid match against UC Santa Barbara, then finished the season with a win," Hawbecker continued. "The win didn't just happen today. It was two weeks of building up to it."

Wilton was one of two Aggie hitters to post a double-double, tallying 25 kills to go with 13 digs. Freshman setter Katelyn Astruc added 18 digs and a career-high 64 assists, while sophomore Rachel Keener had 11 kills and a .360 hitting average.



After a season of knocking on the door, Mary McClelland finally broke UC Davis' single-match digs record in the season finale, posting 36 against the Mustangs.

Aggie head coach Stephanie Hawbecker was quick to credit Keener, who filled in at middle blocker after playing the entire season as an outside hitter.

For Cal Poly, sophomore outside hitter Emily Doris had 19 kills and 17 digs. Junior middle blocker provided 16 kills and a robust .455 success rate offensively. Freshman libero Kristin Jackson led the Mustangs with 30 digs.

Keener had five kills in the early going of Game 1 to help UC Davis take a 17-9 lead to start the match. However, the Mustangs managed to work themselves back in after Bertotti's kill capped a run of five straight points, bringing the Aggie margin to 20-16. Later in the game, back-to-back solo blocks by Kayla Mulder and Margaret Donoghue helped Cal Poly approach to within 24-21. However, Read had a kill then a block assist to push UC Davis ahead to 27-22. Read added the game-winner, her seventh kill of the first game.

The Mustangs recovered to dominate Game 2, hitting .462 in the frame. Mulder had five kills in seven attempts during that stanza while setter Arleen Paperny was perfect on three hitting attempts. Erin Senozan served up six straight points to give Cal Poly a boost to a 19-10 read and the team never looked back en route to a second-game victory.

"Over the course of the match, Cal Poly made really good adjustments with their block in terms of timing and taking away our best shots," said Hawbecker. "That's why I switched the lineup for the third game to try to get different matchups. It seemed to help at first, but Cal Poly settled back in with their blocking and digging rhythm."

UC Davis opened the third game on a 6-0 run as Read opened action with a kill and service ace. Wilton added another kill after a Mustang timeout to make the lead 7-0. The Aggies never trailed and Cal Poly never approached by closer than five points in the third game. Wilton had eight kills while Read put up 10 digs in the frame, as UC Davis moved ahead two games to one.

Cal Poly took early control of Game 4, opening with a 6-1 run behind a kill and ace by Bertotti. UC Davis tied the game at 10-10 on a service ace by Nuss, one of six ties in the game. After junior Jill McPheeters' kill and block assist reknotted the game at 15-15, the Mustangs began to pull away. Keener's kill put UC Davis as close as a 20-19 deficit, then Bertotti and Paperny combined for a block to highlight a 7-1 Cal Poly run, putting their team ahead by 27-20.

Wilton had three kills down the final stretch to allow the Aggies to approach to within 28-26, but a Kayla Mulder kill and a UC Davis hitting error closed out Game 4 with a 2-2 tie in games.

"In the fifth game, I switched back to the original lineup," Hawbecker said. "I wanted to let the seniors win it and to keep the Cal Poly defense out of sync. We were trying to put the best matchups on the floor."

Wilton continued her hot streak in the fifth game, opening action with a kill then serving up consecutive points for a 3-0 Aggie start. The Mustangs managed to tie the game at 4-4 with help from two UC Davis hitting errors but Kim Vincent's kill put the Aggies up for good. Astruc served up back-to-back aces then forced a Cal Poly free ball, which Vincent batted down, pushing UC Davis ahead by an 8-4 margin. Bertotti and Courtney Holman later combined on a block to bring the Mustangs within one point. However, Wilton had three kills in the final five points and Keener sent Cal Poly sprawling for the game-winning kill.

This was the first season with a predominantly Division I schedule for UC Davis, which completes its second year of a four-year transition process to NCAA Division I. The Mustangs are members of the Big West Conference, of which the Aggies will become a full-fledged member in 2007-08.

Cal Poly (5-24) 24 30 23 30 11
UC Davis (3-21) 30 16 30 26 15

CAL POLY (kills-aces-blocks) - Arleen Paperny 4-0-2, Margaret Donoghue 5-0-4, Emily Doris 19-1-2, Courtney Holman 19-1-2, Nicole Bertotti 16-1-5, Kayla Mulder 17-0-2, Sarah Riviere, 0-0-0, Kristin Jackson 1-0-0, Erin Senozan 1-3-0. Totals 69-5-12.0. Assists - Arleen Paperny 51. Digs leaders - Kristin Jackson 30, Emily Doris 17, Arleen Paperny 16, Sarah Riviere 15.

UC DAVIS (kills-aces-blocks) - Kate Wilton 25-0-0, Katelyn Astruc 4-2-2, Kim Vincent 6-0-1, Marritt Cafarchia 0-0-0, Rachel Keener 11-0-4, Nicole Read 18-1-1, Mary McClelland 0-2-0, Ingrid Nuss 0-2-0, Mary Gaber 6-0-0, Jill McPheeters 3-0-1, Katie Wilson 3-0-0. Totals 76-7-107. Assists - Katelyn Astruc 64. Digs leaders - Mary McClelland 36, Nicole Read 27, Katelyn Astruc 18, Kate Wilton 13.


Mary McClelland will hold three of the top five single-match digs marks in next year's media guide... Her 36 digs against Cal Poly broke the previous mark shared by McClelland (31 at UC Riverside) and Jill Changaris (31 vs. S.F. State in 1996)... The senior libero also posted 30 digs at home vs. Utah State, T5th all-time.

Nicole Read didn't simply break her previous digs best, she shattered it... Entering Saturday's match, her career-best for digs was 10, set against Cal St. Northridge on Oct 16... Read had 10 during Game 3 alone... Somewhat obscured by the dig totals of her teammates was the 18 by setter Katelyn Astruc -- also a career-best mark.

Kate Wilton's 25 kills represents her second-highest total of the season... In 2004, she had three 20-kill matches: 24 vs. Brown, 28 at UC Riverside and 25 vs. Cal Poly... Not surprisingly, UC Davis was victorious in all three.

Sophomore Rachel Keener had 11 kills, hit .360 and posted four blocks -- including one solo stuff -- in her first match at middle blocker since her freshman season... This is a good omen for Hawbecker, who hopes to use her personnel at various positions in the years to come.

"At times, we got tentative because of the feeling of, 'what if we don't win this?' I don't think there was any lack of desire or belief. So there was a little clamping up or we would get too intense at times -- the thought that 'I have to do my job and terminate this ball'."

"Cal Poly was very resilient. They had a very tough match last night and to come back and push us to five after losing so soundly to San Jose State says a lot about their team."

"When we need people to contribute at certain times, they did. When they got down, someone else picked them up. Very rarely did someone make two mistakes in a row, which is big progress for us."

"I would have loved to have won it in three games, but in terms of the emotional satisfaction for the seniors, it's more dramatic and more meaningful that they had to come back in five games after losing Game 4."

"This may sound corny, but ever since the Pacific match [on November 13], I've dreamt about this match. It felt like an NCAA Tournament match in terms of the impact it would have on the seniors in ending their careers, and the impact it would have on the returners for positive momentum through the winter and spring. We beat two Big West teams in emotional, five-game matches -- one on the road and one at home."

"The biggest hump we overcame was the stretch from the Idaho match through Sac State, Fullerton, Riverside. The three weeks from October 23 to November 13 was very difficult. It wasn't a lack of effort, there wasn't any giving up, it was just being tired and at a mental low point.