Nov. 6, 2012
Friday, Nov. 9 - at Cal Poly, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 10 - at UC Santa Barbara, 7 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 2 - UC IRVINE (W, 3-0)
Saturday, Nov. 3 - LONG BEACH STATE (L, 1-3)
TO RECAP: UC Davis (13-13, 7-6) split its home weekend, finishing strong in all three sets in Friday's sweep of UC Irvine then falling in four to Long Beach State on Saturday... Senior Allison Whitson led the Aggies offensively on both nights, delivering 13 kills on 38 swings on Friday then a 19-3-45 (.356) night on Saturday... She also had two more double-doubles, picking up 14 and 13 in the two matches, respectively... Junior OH Devon Damelio posted 12-3-25 (.360) attacking against the Anteaters... Sophomore MB Victoria Lee hit 7-1-13 (.462) while fellow second-year MB Katie Quinn finished 7-2-12 (.417) in Friday's match... Both players had five blocks between... Overall, UC Davis hit .294 against UCI... Sophomore Valerie Brain continued to assume a heavier load in the attacking game, totaling 21 kills and 63 attempts for the weekend... Mary Schroeder (7-1-10 hitting), Lindsay Dowd (15 assists, 3 digs) and Kaitlyn Plum (13 digs) all enjoyed solid matches against LBSU... The Aggies hit .314 in the first two sets on Saturday but were unable to come away with wins in either... Meanwhile, the 49ers hit better than .400 in the first and fourth frames.
MILESTONE WATCH: Senior libero Caroline Mercado continues to progress toward becoming the seventh Aggie to surpass 1,000 career digs... She enters the upcoming weekend with 955 with five matches remaining on the slate... Setter Jenny Woolway has a shot at moving into the No. 2 slot in career assists... With 3,306 to date, she needs 98 to surpass Cristie McLaughlin (1990-93).
STATISTICAL LEADERS: Sophomore MB Victoria Lee hold at third in blocks (1.23 bps), fourth in attack average (.304) among Big West Conference leaders... Woolway moved up to seventh in assists (8.50), posting 89 dimes in seven sets despite splitting reps with Dowd during 6-2 sets... Whitson remains at No. 6 in kills (3.73) although Mercado slipped to 10th (3.59) among digs leaders.
UP NEXT: The Aggies hit the road for the final two-match road trip of the season, taking on Cal Poly on Friday and UC Santa Barbara on Saturday... The annual road tilt at UCSB has gone the full five sets in each of the last three matchups, with the Gauchos prevailing in the last two.
CAL POLY (3-21, 2-10) lost in three sets to both Cal State Northridge and Hawai'i in the Thursday-Saturday road trip... Junior OH Holly Franks led the Mustangs offensively on each night, pounding out 10 kills at CSUN then providing .400 hitting (8-2-15) against the Wahine... She has a team-high 226 kills for the year.
UC SANTA BARBARA (13-14, 6-6) also lost both ends of the trans-Pacific road trip, falling in three at Hawai'i before returning stateside for a four-set loss to Cal State Northridge... The Gauchos hit just .086 against the Wahine with no player managing more than Leah Sully's seven kills... The junior OH improved to 22 kills with just six errors against the Matadors on Saturday... Libero Taylor Formico continues her march toward Big West Conference All-Freshman status, compiling 36 digs in the seven sets last weekend.
HEAD COACH JAMIE HOLMES:
"Against Irvine, the atmosphere was fantastic. I have to give the band a huge shoutout. They bring so much atmosphere and collegiate spirit that all of the fans were asking for them again. Those types of things really affect our team and affect performance. I thought our team played really inspired against Irvine. If you looked at our blocking efforts and defensive efforts, you'd would say we played with a really big heart. It was a great match."
On the upcoming weekend: "We have to teach each opponent one at a time, and Cal Poly does some nice things. Their new head coach continues to do some good things with their lineups. They've moved their left sides around and they're playing with a 6-2. It will be important that our blocking department does a good job against their cross-court attack, that we're dropping our hands into that seam and not allowing the ball to go in between. And serving and passing will be a key to our success. I'm constantly challenging our team to take a few more risks from the serving line. Let's not just try to get the ball in, let's try to put some pace on it, get it to move more - anything to make sure the other team is not in system."
"I think Santa Barbara is beatable. We didn't serve them tough the first time around, so not only were they running their middles in reception but they also forced their middles in transition. Our blockers weren't transitioning fast enough. I felt like they really attacked us in the middle third of the court. If we can do a good job defending and attacking that middle third, I think it will be a fun night."
"The one thing I'll say about my time is that I'm fortunate to work with great kids who are always wanting to improve at their craft. The one person that stands out in my mind is Ally Whitson. She is playing like a veteran. She doesn't make the types of errors that she made earlier in the season or in her sophomore and junior years when the pressure was mounting on her shoulders. Her blocking moves, her transition footwork, the types of swings she takes in various situations - she really stands out to me."
"Our middle blocking department is young. They're both first-year starters. Katie Quinn is 100 percent everyday. She'll hit the ball hard every time. They [Quinn and Lee] have both improved a lot. Then I have to point out Lindsay Dowd, who is such a performance leader for us. She's like Katie Denny was - everyday she brings it in practice and you know what to expect. Her desire to impact the team isn't just on Fridays and Saturdays, it's every day. She is the true heartbeat, passionate and ready to rock and roll. Obviously, the entire team has improved but those are the few areas that have stood out in my mind."