Aggies Take On No. 9 Hawai'i, Northridge

Middle blocker Victoria Lee has hit .374 in conference play, tops among all Big West players.
(Mark Honbo, Athletics Communications)

Oct. 16, 2012

10.16.12 Weekly Release Get Acrobat Reader

Thursday, Oct. 18 - at Hawai'i, 10 p.m. PDT
Saturday, Oct. 20 - at Cal State Northridge, 7 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 12 - UC SANTA BARBARA, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 13 - CAL POLY, 7 p.m.

TO RECAP: The Aggies (10-10, 4-3) split home action against UC Santa Barbara and Cal Poly to hold in a four-way tie for third place in the Big West Conference race... Junior OH Devon Damelio totaled 24 kills, .279 hitting, nine blocks and 17 digs in nine sets to lead UC Davis overall... Sophomore Valerie Brain continues her strong play in Big West matches... The former conference All-Freshman pick hit 11-3-31 against the Gauchos, then 9-3-23 against the Mustangs... Brain had six kills on nine swings in the second set over Cal Poly.

YOU'VE BEEN SERVED: UC Davis converted 71.7 percent of its side-out opportunities in Saturday's win over the Mustangs, the highest of the year since winning 80.9 percent against Kent during the Butler Invite on Sept. 14... It ranks third for the year, with the 74.6 success rate (47-for-63) in the opener vs. Furman standing second... The Aggies won 10 of 12 side-out chances in the 25-11 win in Saturday's middle set... In contrast, the Aggies were 7-for-24 (29.2) in the 25-11 third-set loss on Friday.

MILESTONE WATCH: Setter Jenny Woolway inches closer to Kelly Urbanik for fourth all-time in career assists at UC Davis, now holding 3,114 to Urby's 3,125... However, the most prominent milestone belongs to head coach Jamie Holmes... With a 20-20 record for NAIA-member Evangel plus a 79-60 mark at UC Davis, Holmes needs just one more victory to hit her 100th as a collegiate women's coach... Holmes also spent one year as head men's coach at Bethany.

STATISTICAL LEADERS: Thanks to her .424 hitting last weekend (9-0-15 vs. Cal Poly) sophomore Victoria Lee moved from fifth to third among Big West Conference leaders with a .327 average, just behind Hawai'i sophomore Kalei Adolopho's .328... In Big West matches only, Lee leads all players with a .374 clip (54-8-123)... Lee also remains atop the blocks leaderboard with a 1.28 per-set average... Senior Allison Whitson held at No. 6 among kills leaders at 3.74... Woolway ranks eighth in assists (8.43) while Caroline Mercado holds seventh in digs (3.84)... Woolway moves up to No. 3 (10.14) on the conference-only rankings, as UC Davis has gone to a 5-1 system more often in Big West play.

UP NEXT: The Aggies take on their highest-ranked foe of the 2012 schedule, facing No. 9 Hawai'i in a rare Thursday night matchup before returning stateside for Saturday's tilt at Cal State Northridge...The Wahine are UC Davis' highest-ranked opponent since No. 4 Washington on Sept. 16, 2006; and the first Top-10 foe since No. 10 Cal on Sept. 10, 2010... Thursday's match also marks the first time UC Davis has competed in a conference match outside the California boundaries since Nov. 8, 2003 (at Grand Canyon).

LIVE MEDIA: Hawai'i streams its home volleyball matches on OCSports... Thursday's match is available at Match time is 7 p.m. local, 10 p.m. Pacific... Furthermore, the contest will be broadcast on ESPN Radio KKEA 1420 AM (

HAWAI'I (15-2, 8-0) took down its travel partner Cal State Northridge in four sets on Friday, getting 21 kills from 2011 All-American and reigning Big West Player of the Week Emily Hartong... Hartong leads the Big West with 4.33 kills per set while freshman Jade Vorster and sophomore Kalei Adolpho rank 1-2 in hitting average at .331 and .328, respectively... The 2012 season marks the Wahine's first in the Big West after 17 years as a Western Athletic Conference member... UH has made the NCAA postseason for 19 straight years, a streak that includes five Final Four berths.

CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE (13-7, 4-4) hit just .074 in the final three sets of Friday's 3-1 setback to Hawai'i, managing only three kills in the 25-20 loss in the finale... Junior setter Sydney Gedryn posted 33 assists with 5-1-9 offense and seven blocks, while senior libero Cindy Ortiz picked up 31 digs... Juniors Britney Graff and Mahina Haina lead the Matadors offensively with 204 and 201 kills

"My expectations are that we will do well. We have been working a lot of things in practice. We're going into a wonderful venue that was great crowd support. They are very respectful of good volleyball, and we expect to put on a good show. We will play to our potential and let our character shine through. We will let the `fun-ness' of the match shine through. I want us to serve tough and pass well. I want to establish our middles clearly. And I want to see us rally back and forth with a good opponent."

"This is the first time we've done this type of road trip and if we're not careful, it could be distracting. We're going somewhere that a lot of our players think of as a vacation spot. We need to stay focused on the task at hand, which is to beat Hawai'i. I believe we can do it but it won't come easy. We'll have to be on, and every pistol will have to be firing. It's kind of a Catch-22 because you want the kids to enjoy themselves but you also need them to take it seriously. So the question is can they do both."

"The biggest thing for us is to maintain. UC Irvine [Oct. 6] was an inspired match. Then I was really disappointed with the way we came out against UC Santa Barbara, with our energy level and our sense of urgency. I think we had played the way we're supposed to, that's a different match. Unfortunately, it's an indicator that we need to be ready to play both Friday and Saturday. My new goal is for us to show up for a whole weekend and get a sweep. If we have the right mental approach, I believe it can happen. But it will be on the shoulders of our seniors - Caroline, Allison and Kaitlyn - to lead our team in their areas of responsibilities.