Oct. 23, 2012
Thursday, Oct. 26 - at Cal State Fullerton, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 27 - at UC Riverside, 7 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 18 - at Hawai'i, 10 p.m. PDT
Saturday, Oct. 20 - at Cal State Northridge, 7 p.m.
TO RECAP: UC Davis (10-12, 4-5) lost a pair of four-set road matches, managing to pick off the opener against Hawai'i before the Wahine offense recovered to claim the next three... Junior Devon Damelio and senior Allison Whitson tallied 13 kills each against UH, then hit 11 apiece at CSUN... However, the two opponents combined for 116 kills and .336 hitting for the weekend, the highest yield for a weekend series since Long Beach State and Cal State Fullerton went for 116 kills and a .373 average midway through the 2010 season... One bright spot for the weekend was the play of junior setter Lindsay Dowd, who stepped into Saturday's match to record a career-high 32 assists... She also chipped in four kills and six digs... According to head coach Jamie Holmes, her presence was particularly helpful to the sophomore middles Victoria Lee and Katie Quinn (see quotes below)... The Lee/Quinn combo improved from 11-4-38 (.184) on Friday to 18-7-39 (.282) on Saturday.
MILESTONE WATCH: Junior setter Jenny Woolway moved into fourth all-time with 3,162 assists, passing up Kelly Urbanik (3,125)... Meanwhile, Holmes owns a 99-72 record as a collegiate head women's coach for UC Davis and NAIA member Evangel... She seeks her 100th career victory this weekend.
STATISTICAL LEADERS: Lee ranks third in the Big West Conference in blocking (1.23 bps), fourth in hitting (.311)... Whitson held at sixth in kills at 3.67 per... Senior libero Caroline Mercado ranks seventh in digs (3.71) while Woolway remains eighth in assists (8.20)... In the conference-only leaderboard, Damelio checks in at No. 9 in kills (3.19).
UP NEXT: UC Davis continues road Big West action, this time against Cal State Fullerton (Friday) and UC Riverside (Saturday)... The Aggies went five sets with each team during the first go-round, eking out the win over the Highlanders after dominating the first two sets... This weekend also launches the second half of the Big West schedule... UC Davis is tied for sixth in the conference race but just 1.5 wins behind third-place Cal State Northridge... Note: CSF offers live streaming audio at http://www.fullertontitans.com/links/opxpgr.
HOMETOWN INTEREST: Sophomore Megan Lancaster (Anaheim, Calif.) attended Esperanza High School, located within surface streets from the Cal State Fullerton campus.
CAL STATE FULLERTON (11-11, 5-4) played the maximum 10 sets in the Central Coast road trip, beating UC Santa Barbara in five before suffering a 3-2 upset to Cal Poly on Saturday... Reigning conference Player of the Week Kayla Neto exploded to a career-high 35 kills against the Gauchos, then followed with 27 kills against the Mustangs... Already the workhorse of the Titan offense, Neto had 183 attacks for the weekend, accounting for 42.4 percent of the team's 431 swings... As a comparison, Whitson had 73 of UC Davis' 285 attempts during the same weekend (25.6 percent)... Neto ranks second in the Big West in kills (4.30), fourth in aces (0.30).
UC RIVERSIDE (0-9, 5-17) nearly pulled off its first conference win against Cal Poly, holding a 2-1 lead through three sets and a 24-23 match point in the fourth... The Highlanders surrendered three straight points to force the rubber set and even battled from an 11-8 deficit to take a 15-14 match point... Senior OH Amanda Vialpando put down 22 kills with 14 digs against the Mustangs, and added 20-20 numbers the following night against UCSB... Freshman setter Emily Borges leads the league in assists (10.53) while ranking second to Cal State Fullerton's Bre Moreland in aces (0.32).
HEAD COACH JAMIE HOLMES:
"Against Hawai'i, I thought our team did a good job battling. We had really high-effort plays and we just played without the shackles. We just went for it. Hawai'i made a few adjustments going into the second set. They were blocking better and attacking better. I thought we did some really nice things but unfortunately we struggled in the blocking department. So Hawai'i went off for a 50 percent assist average and 35 percent hitting. That will make it hard to win a game if we're not making as many stops as we should be. On the defensive side, I thought we could have done better in terms of blocking, or digging on target and getting a transition kill. We also struggled at connecting with our middles, especially in transition. That's a high place to score, and we weren't scoring there."
On Cal State Northridge: "We made a change and I thought Lindsay Dowd set a good ballgame. She got our middles going and her tempo sets to the outside allowed our hitters to get some better swings. So I'd say a highlight against Northridge was seeing Lindsay get in there. But we continued to struggle on the defensive side. We're hitting 21 percent or so, which isn't exactly where you want to be but you can win ballgames with that. But when you let a team go off for 33-34 percent, it will be very difficult to win."
"Going into the second half of Big West play is exciting. You see seven teams that are gridlocked right there in the middle, just like last year. The difference between finishing second and finishing seventh - it could happen to anybody. So the second half of this season is almost a brand new season. I look to go into this weekend getting better at blocking and on the defensive side. I know Riverside is hungry to get a win. They have to be one the strongest `oh-for' teams out there. They're a talented team and they can't be taken lightly. And Fullerton comes off the loss to Cal Poly, so I'm sure their coaching staff will work them extremely hard this week to make sure they're prepared. I think this will be a tough weekend but I'm super hopeful that we perform well, perform to our potential and that the outcome is favorable."