Aggie volleyball reaches midpoint of Big West slate

UC Davis junior Emily Allen (7) will face off against her younger sister, Chloe (22), a sophomore for UC Santa Barbara. (Wayne Tilcock,
Oct. 16, 2017

Weekly Release No. 9 Get Acrobat Reader | Live Stats (Tuesday) | Live Stats (Saturday)
Live Audio (Tuesday) | BigWest.TV | Marya Welch Initative for Women's Athletics

DAVIS, Calif. -- After road wins at UC Riverside and Cal State Fullerton, UC Davis women’s volleyball returns home to host UC Santa Barbara for a Tuesday night home tilt, then returns to the road for continued Big West Conference play at UC Irvine this week. Tuesday’s home match also serves as the annual October “Dig Pink” event in support of breast cancer research and education, and provides the venue for a “Women In Sports Day” promotion in support of the new Marya Welch Initiative for Women’s Athletics.

Tuesday’s match starts at 7 p.m. with the pregame tailgate starting at 6 p.m.

The Aggies held the Highlanders and Titans to just 11.8 kills per set in the two weekend matches, with UCR managing just a .137 average – the lowest by an opponent in this conference season. Junior libero Malia Bolko played a large part in stifling the opposing attack with her 56 digs, or 6.22 per set. She now has 1,228 career digs, needing 35 to surpass Kelly Gaudino (2000-03) for sixth in school history.

Redshirt freshman Mahalia White continues to lead the Aggies offensively in Big West play, notching kills totals of 15 and 19 in the two victories. Junior outside hitter Brianna Karsseboom hit a career-high 17 kills in Saturday’s win at Titan Gym. She had 14 in the three set wins, but just three kills with six errors in the two losses, revealing how key an ingredient her attacking game can be to the overall Aggie success.

Junior outside hitter Emily Allen was right behind with 32 kills and 27 digs over the weekend. She also tied her career high of four blocks on each night, and allowed just one ace on 67 attempts as a primary passer. In fact, UC Davis passed well as a team, committing just five receiving errors. However, the Aggies collectively suffered from 56 attacking errors (6.2 per set) and 22 service errors (2.4 per set). 

UC SANTA BARBARA (3-15, 2-4) lost at home against Big West front-runner Cal Poly, picking off the first set before dropping the next three. Sophomore outside hitter Lindsey Ruddins recorded 21 kills to add to her league-leading 5.40 average. Junior Emilia Petrachi has battled Bolko for the conference digs leader throughout the season, and currently holds the top spot with her 5.09 per-set clip. 

“Santa Barbara is a really good team,” said head coach Dan Conners. “They have a few players who are feeling better and back from injury. They have what could be the best player in the conference on their team. They are very strong and their record does not show how good they are. That’s a team we lost to twice last year, and they’re just as good if not better this year.”

UC IRVINE (17-2, 5-1) continues to enjoy its best season in program history, extending its conference win streak to five after Saturday’s 3-0 sweep of UC Riverside. Harlee Kekauoha had 11 kills on 27 swings to lead the ‘Eaters offensively. She and Haley DeSales rank sixth and seventh in the Big West, respectively, in kills per set. This is the second UC Davis-UCI meeting of the year, with the Anteaters climbing from a 2-0 match deficit to snipe a five-set victory at the Pavilion back on September 29.

“Anytime you can win on the road is nice. It’s a different energy you have to bring,” Conners said. “I think we learned some things from last weekend, and there are definitely some areas where we can improve, but I think we’re definitely capable of making that progress.”

UC Davis now sits fifth in the nine-team Big West Conference race with a 3-4 record, one behind CSUN (4-3) and a half-match in front of UC Santa Barbara (2-4). Live stats for Tuesday’s match are available via StatBroadcast. KDVS alumnus David “DK” Kim will provide live audio play-by-play on StretchInternet,
 with live video available through BigWest.TV. Links are above.

Tuesday’s pregame indoor tailgate will include a meet-and-greet for fans to interact with past and present UC Davis student-athletes, perhaps most notably two-time Olympian Kim Conley... The Aggie-Gaucho match also has a reduced ticket price of $5, available by visting Junior Emily Allen will face her younger sister, Chloe, for the third time as a collegian... In their last meeting, Emily posted 10 kills with 11 digs and two blocks, while Chloe enjoyed her breakout match as a Gaucho, tallying 19 kills and a .394 average... Chloe has since surpassed that best with her 24-kill performance vs. Florida State this season... Emily’s best is the 30 she totaled against Southern Utah back on Sept. 9, 2016... Mahalia White became the first Aggie to win back-to-back Big West Freshman of the Week... Lauren Matias (twice in 2016) and Aima Eichie (2014) are the other all-time UC Davis winners in the four-year history of the award.

Providing a small-town community feel while providing a world-class academic experience, UC Davis is home to more than 37,000 students and centrally located between San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, and the Napa Valley. The No. 6-ranked public university in the nation according to the Wall Street Journal, and among the top 10 public universities nationwide according to U.S. News and World Report, UC Davis offers nearly 100 graduate programs and more than 100 academic majors across four colleges and six professional schools, ranking among the world and nation’s best in numerous disciplines, including veterinary science, agriculture, and plant and animal programs.

Season and single-game tickets for all UC Davis fall sports are now on sale by contacting the Athletics Ticket Office at (530) 752-AGS1 or by visiting us online at