Friday, Nov. 6 - at UC Santa Barbara (W, 3-0)
Saturday, Nov. 7 - at Cal Poly (W, 3-2)
TO RECAP: UC DAVIS (13-14, 8-5) swept its annual Central Coast trip, taking down UC Santa Barbara on Friday, then coming back from a 2-1 match deficit to upset Cal Poly in five sets on Saturday... The win against UCSB marked just the third time the Aggies have outperformed their opponent in every major statistical category: kills, hitting average, assists, aces, digs and blocks... The previous times were against Princeton (9/5) and the home meeting with the Gauchos (10/8)... UC Davis totaled 90 digs and 13.0 team blocks in Saturday’s win at Cal Poly... The victory over the Mustangs featured a relative anomaly: no aces... The Aggies have been blanked in category before — the last time in October 2011 — but it marks the first time in the 16 years of available data that UC Davis has won a match despite serving up no aces... Head coach Dan Conners credits the Cal Poly passers rather than chalking it up to any fault in his team’s serving game (see QUOTES below).
Freshman libero Malia Bolko posted dig totals of 15 and 27 in the two matches, respectively, for 5.25 per set en route to her second Big West Conference Defensive Player of the Week award... She raised her Big West-only average to 4.47, improving from 3.87 in the preseason... Bolko previously won the honor on October 5... Senior OH Kaylin Squyres led the Aggies in kills in each match, tallying 13 vs. UCSB, 19 vs. Cal Poly... She also tied her career high of five blocks on Saturday, with four solo stuffs... Freshman MB Kelechi Ohiri hit 15-0-36 (.417) with 11 blocks for the weekend... Junior OH Kendall Walbrecht hit .339 (23-3-59) for the two matches, splitting time at either pin as UC Davis switched from its 5-1 system against the Gauchos to a 6-2 at Cal Poly... Speaking of which, junior Sophia Mar notched a career-high five aces in Friday’s sweep, adding to her eight digs, two blocks, 32 assists and a team .330 success rate.
MILESTONES: Squyres raised her career kills total to 1,144, giving her an outside chance to surpass Jill Changaris (1,209 from 1993-96) for 5th in school history... She would need 66 in the final three matches... Sophomore MB Aima Eichie needs just four blocks to reach 200 for her career... Ohiri’s .417 weekend raised her season average to .358... That puts her on pace to rank third in school history, behind Victoria Lee (.403 in 2013) and Betsy Sedlak (.395 in 2010)... Ohiri would need to stay ahead of Candy Lench’s 1992 clip of .341... Similarly, Bolko raised her season digs average to 4.16, putting her on track to enter the school’s top five... She would need to outperform Caroline Mercado (4.13 in 2011) for that fifth slot.
STAT RANKINGS: Squyres holds the top Big West spot in both total kills (438) and kills per set (4.34)... She also ranks 5th in aces (0.31) and 4th in total digs (365)... Bolko continues to rank 3rd in digs (4.16) while moving up to the No. 2 slot in total digs (420)... Ohiri strengthened her No. 3 ranking in hitting percentage (.358) although she is well behind Hawaii’s similarly named Maglio/Magill tandem, each of whom are at .397... Ohiri also ranks 5th in blocks (1.04) behind teammate Eichie (1.12)... As a team, UC Davis still leads the Big West in blocks at 2.30 per set...
UP NEXT: UC Davis takes on No. 7 Hawai’i in a rare doubleheader with the men’s basketball team... The Aggies and Wahine start at 1 p.m. while the UC Davis-Portland hoop contest tips off at 4 p.m.... Fans who purchase a ticket to Saturday’s football home finale against Cal Poly may use the stub for free admission to Sunday’s action...David “DK” Kim will once again call the action on StretchInternet’s audio stream… Live stats are available via StatBroadcast… See above for links.
HAWAI’I (22-1, 12-0) strengthened its lead in the Big West Conference with Friday’s four-set win at Long Beach State, then extended its winning streak to 17 with a sweep of CSUN on Saturday... Junior OH Nikki Taylor posted 20 kills and 14 digs in the win against the 49ers while middles Olivia Magill and Emily Maglio cobined for 21-1-41 (.488) hitting... Magill added 11-1-15 (.667) with four blocks on Saturday, helping the Wahine hit .436 for the match... Taylor ranks second behind Squyres in the Big West kills leaderboard at 4.22 per set... Magill, Maglio and Taylor hold the top three places among the blocks leaders, helping UH lead the nation with a 3.40 average.
HEAD COACH DAN CONNERS:
“I think our effort level was high and our energy was good. We were pretty steady the whole time. And then we had a lot of scrambling plays against Cal Poly. Defensively, I thought we did a really nice job. We had a great game plan against Santa Barbara then made some adjustments against Cal Poly that affected them and gave us a boost as well.”
On the Cal Poly win: “We started out with Kendall Walbrecht on the left side [at Cal Poly] and then we switched her to the right with the 6-2. I thought the matchup was better suited to defend against Cal Poly. Wally slowed down their left-side attack with her block. We were able to leave her one-on-one with her block. We either defended around it or she got a piece of it. And I thought our serving was good. It got them off the net so we could get a good block.
On zero aces on Saturday: “I thought Cal Poly did a great job at keeping the ball alive. We got them in trouble with our serving but they kept it off the floor. They did a good job passing. I thought we could have been a little more aggressive. When you get tentative, your arm gets tight, and you make mistakes. We were much more loose against Santa Barbara.”
On switching between a 6-2 and 5-1: “We have the personnel to do it. Depending on a matchup that makes sense, I like that we have the flexibility to do it. We have some good freshmen who can come in and make a difference: Emily in the front row and Maddie coming into to set. Sophia [Mar] is solid for us as a setter but some teams can take advantage from a blocking standpoint. So if we need to shore that up, we can go to the 6-2 and get more offense on the right side as well. The players realize have the mindset that it’s just volleyball and they’re playing the game in a different spot. Wally has played a ton of matches on the right and a ton on the left. She’s very comfortable at both positions. She plays both at a high level. Emily played the left side her whole club career so she’s very comfortable there.”