Volleyball Heads South For Continued Big West Action

Sophomore Victoria Lee hit .378 (19-2-45) in the Aggies' two matches over the weekend.
(Wayne Tilcock, Davis Enterprise)

Oct. 2, 2012

10.02.12 Weekly Release Get Acrobat Reader

Friday, Oct. 5 - at Long Beach State, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 6 - at UC Irvine, 7 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 28 - UC RIVERSIDE (W, 3-2)
Saturday, Sept. 29 - CAL STATE FULLERTON (L, 2-3)

TO RECAP: UC Davis (8-8, 2-1) split its second weekend of Big West Conference play, going the maximum 10 sets against UC Riverside and Cal State Fullerton... Senior OH Allison Whitson tallied 15 kills and a career-high 23 digs in Friday's win over the Highlanders, then tied a career best of 24 kills in Saturday's loss to the Titans... Whitson and CSF senior Kayla Neto each tallied a whopping 75 swings in Saturday's tilt, which lasted 2:29 - the Aggies' longest match since last 2:31 in a five-set home loss to Long Beach State back in 2007... Junior OH Devon Damelio led UC Davis with 18 kills on Friday... Sophomore OH Valerie Brain tied a personal best of 15 kills vs. CSF... Sophomore MB Victoria Lee also hit career highs in kills (12) and attempts (26), even managing four digs... Seniors Caroline Mercado and Kaitlyn Plum narrowly missed career highs in digs at 19 and 25, respectively.

MILESTONE WATCH: Junior Jenny Woolway needs just 36 assists to become the fifth Aggie to break 3,000 in her career... Another 162 moves her ahead of Kelly Urbanik (3,125 from 1998-2001) for fourth place in the school record book... UC Davis has just passed its midway point of the year (16 matches played, 15 to go)... If Woolway matches her first half, she will move ahead of Carson Lowden (3,220 from 2006-09) and Cristie McLaughlin (3,403 from 1990-93) into second all-time... However, if she continues her Big West pace (134 assists in three matches), Woolway has a chance to overtake Cal Aggie Athletics Hall of Famer Denise Bilbaeno for the school record (3,549 from 1987-90).

STAT RANKINGS: Among Big West Conference leaders, sophomore MB Victoria Lee has slipped to second in blocks (1.26) but moved up to fourth in hitting average (.321)... Her .404 average in three conference matches help her cause toward the latter... Whitson ranks seventh in kills (.361), Woolway is eighth in assists (7.92) and Mercado sits eighth in digs (3.84)... Damelio moved to 10th in kills at 3.27.

UP NEXT: The Aggies take to the road for continued Big West Conference action, facing Long Beach State on Friday followed by UC Irvine on Saturday... Both teams became the first of the year to endure the tough Hawai'i-Cal State Northridge road trip.

LONG BEACH STATE (7-8, 2-2) lost both matches over the weekend, falling to CSUN in four than to Hawai'i in straight sets... Sophomore MB Chisom Okpala was a bright spot for the 49ers, posting eight kills and eight blocks against the Matadors then following with 9-0-12 (.750) hitting against the Wahine... Junior Delainey Aigner-Swesey leads LBSU with 150 kills (2.83) while senior Janisa Johnson has 146 kills (2.75) and 184 digs (3.47)... Alma Serna leads all Big West players with a .356 average (72-20-146)... The 49ers, defending league champions, were the only team to sweep UC Davis in home-and-home play last season; in fact, the Aggies look to score their first-ever win off The Beach after 15 meetings.

UC IRVINE (8-9, 3-1) fell to Hawai'i in three sets before returning stateside to beat Cal State Northridge in four... Junior MB Shannon Fleming hit 12-2-18 (.556) with six block assists while redshirt freshman Marisa Bubica tallied a match-high 16 kills against the Matadors.. Bubica averages 3.06 kills per set, second on the Anteater roster to Aly Squires (3.91)... Senior libero Kristin Winkler ranks second in the conference with 4.98 digs per set... She enters the weekend with 1,883 career digs, having surpassed Devon Sutherland as the all-time leader earlier this season.

HEAD COACH Jamie Holmes: "In general, the things we're working on statistically are things we continue to be better at each time we compete. I would have liked to have seen our side-out percentage be a little bit higher against Fullerton, but our kill efficiencies and errors have continued to improve. Overall, I'm pleased with the team's performance and their growth as players."

"More than anything, what really stood out to me was that leadership and that killer instinct to close out a match. If we had performed at the right time - not just overall - we would not have gone five. I'd like to see our team steady out and play more consistently for the duration of the match. We come out strong and we look really good. We test our opponents. Then we decide how hard we'll play for the rest of the match. That's where we need some key leaders. When you're early in the conference season, if you give another team any glimmer of hope, they'll take it. You can't expect a team to roll over and die. We're getting better statistically but we have to get better at closing out matches, and that comes from leadership."

"Both teams we play this weekend will be tough. Irvine just beat Northridge, who is extremely hot right now. My goals for this coming weekend are the serve-and-pass game, as always, and to continue working on our attacking efficiences. We traditionally have been a good blocking team. We went from No. 1 to No. 7 last weekend. To me, that shows a lack of focus and lack of learning an opponent. Again, that's better leadership, and by that I mean we need better performing leaders."