UC Davis Hosts USF Tuesday Night

In addition to the three all-tournament honorees (including MVP Allison Whitson), senior libero Caroline Mercado sparked the Aggies with 55 digs at the Fresno State Classic.
(Wayne Tilcock, Davis Enterprise)

Sept. 11, 2012

09.11.12 Weekly ReleaseGet Acrobat Reader

Tuesday, Sept. 11 - SAN FRANCISCO, 7 p.m.

at Butler Invitational (Indianapolis, Ind.)
Friday, Sept. 14 - vs. Kent State, 11 a.m. PDT
Friday, Sept. 14 - at Butler, 3 p.m. PDT
Saturday, Sept. 15 - vs. Southeast Missouri State, 11 a.m. PDT

at Fresno State Classic
Friday, Sept. 7 - vs. Utah Valley (W, 3-2)
Saturday, Sept. 8 - at Fresno State (L, 0-3)
Saturday, Sept. 8 - vs. Sacramento State (W, 3-1)

TO RECAP: UC Davis (4-5) won the team title at the Fresno State Classic while senior OH Allison Whitson was selected as tournament MVP... She later claimed Big West Conference Player of the Week honors... Both the Aggies and Utah Valley went 2-1 for the weekend, but UC Davis won the tiebreaker by virtue of Friday's five-set marathon... Junior OH Devon Damelio and sophomore MB Victoria Lee each were named to the all-tournament team... Saturday's early match against the host Bulldogs may be deceiving: although the match score appeared at 3-0, all three sets were settled by the minimum two points... The Aggies rebounded with a first-set loss to claim a four-set win over Sacramento State, drawing 10 points toward the Causeway Cup standings (volleyball, football and the two basketballs are worth 10 points for the year; all other matchups are worth five).

Whitson posted 55 kills and a .265 hitting average in 12 sets for the weekend, she also provided 41 digs, recording double-doubles against UVU (24 kills, 17 digs) and Sacramento State (14 kills, 15 digs)... However, she was arguably most effective in the lone loss, hitting 17-2-35 (.429) with an ace and nine digs against Fresno State... Damelio was her usual self, contributing in all areas of the court: 36 kills (3.00 per set), 26 digs (2.17) and 10 blocks (0.83)... Lee totaled 17 kills and 15 blocks, with almost half of that output (9-2-15 hitting, seven blocks) coming in the weekend finale over Sac State... The Aggies-Hornets match also saw season-high digs for DS Kaitlyn Plum (16) and season-best kills by OH Valerie Brain (9).

UP NEXT: UC Davis takes to its home court for a Tuesday night match against San Francisco, then competes in the Butler Invitational at the hallowed Hinkle Fieldhouse, the national landmark arena perhaps best known for hosting the Indiana high school basketball championship for generations (as seen in the film Hoosiers)... The Aggies take on Kent State, Southeast Missouri and host Butler during their weekend in Indianapolis.

FAMILIAR FACES: No less than three opposing coaches from this week's action will have more than passing familiarity with UC Davis... Ken Ko, an alumnus of the Aggie men's volleyball club, is the associate head coach for USF... Sharon Clark (formerly King) served as head UC Davis volleyball coach from 1994 to 1999... Her assistant, Camille Gutierrez, was an All-Region and All-American setter for the Aggies in 1996... Kent State previously had an Aggie connection: former UC Davis vice chancellor Carol Cartwright was the university's first female president from 1991-2006.

SAN FRANCISCO (7-3) went unbeaten at its own Asics Powerade Challenge over the weekend, defeating LIU, La Salle and Big West Conference member Cal State Northridge in a total of 10 sets... Setter Leanna Ludes earned tournament MVP honors while senior OH Jocelyn Levig and sophomore MB Valentina Zaloznik each picked up all-tourney nods... Levig had earned West Coast Conference Player of the Week honors the previous weekend, averaging 3.58 kills at the Hawaiian Airlines Classic.

BUTLER (7-3) went 2-1 at its own Butler Classic, defeating Western Illinois and Indiana in four sets but losing to Stephen F. Austin in three... Junior Maggie Harbison leads the Bulldogs with 115 kills (3.03 avg) with 91 digs and 33 blocks... Now in her 13th year at Butler, Coach Clark played at Sacramento State during its Division II era... SOUTHEAST MISSOURI (6-4) won two of three at Saint Louis' Marcia E. Hamilton Classic, beating South Florida in five, losing to the host Billikens in four, then sweeping Evansville in the finale... Junior S Julie Shives and OH Brittney Kalinoski each earned all-tournament honors... KENT STATE (3-6) scored one win at its own Mizuno Classic, sweeping St. Francis in Saturday's morning action... Sophomore OH Tinuka Aderemi-Ibitoa smacked 42 kills for the weekend, including 22-5-47 (.362) hitting in a five-set loss to Liberty on Friday night.

"San Francisco is very good this year. They have a few international players who have made a big difference in a very short time. They have some significant wins over good competition, such as Cal and Baylor. International players bring a high level of efficiency to the game. They play it more relaxed and I think they know the game better. They play with more veteran thoughts. They make you beat them because they don't make a lot of errors. I'm not going to lie, that's going to be a challenge."

"A few things that stand out in my mind from this weekend, first and foremost is our win against Sac State. Our team feels that rivalry. For them to go out and compete hard against them, and enjoy the match, was very satisfying for me as a coach. The other thing that stood out to me was Allison Whitson. She is playing the best volleyball of her entire career. She has risen to become the performance leader that the team needs and she has embraced that role. She wants that role. Her whole game has come along - not just her attacking, but her backcourt, her defense, her reception, backrow attacking. Her whole game is a highlight."

"It's nice to come away with two wins from the Fresno tournament. Winning is important regardless of who you play. It allows your team to go through the process and have the successes. We still have a lot to work on. Our efficiency in our attack patterns is not as high as it needs to be. We need to get our younger players to grow not just in their production but in their expectation levels as Division I athletes competing against other Division I athletes. A lot of that has to do has to do with what goes on between the ears. I'm definitely pleased with the team's effort and desire, and I do think we can go to the next level in a lot of different areas. One thing I want to see this weekend is to reduce the number of errors in all aspects of the game, and increase our ability to score points."