Nov. 14, 2011
Saturday, Nov. 12 - PACIFIC, 7 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 11 - CAL STATE FULLERTON (L, 2-3)
Saturday, Nov. 12 - LONG BEACH STATE (L, 1-3)
TO RECAP: UC Davis (20-10, 6-9) suffered its first home losses of the year, falling in five to Cal State Fullerton then in four against Long Beach State... The Aggies had won eight straight in either the Pavilion or Hickey Gym prior to last weekend... Junior libero Caroline Mercado tallied 44 digs in nine sets, including a career-high 27 vs. Long Beach State... Against the Titans, UC Davis had five different players with double-digit kills: Allison Whitson (16), Devon Damelio (16), Katie Denny (12), Valerie Brain (12) and Betsy Sedlak (11)... Additionally, five Aggies recorded double-figured digs: Damelio (19), Mercado (17), Kaitlyn Plum (16), Whitson (15) and Jenny Woolway (10).
As a team, UC Davis hit a respectable .213 in the two matches... Additionally, the Aggies dominated the first two sets against Fullerton with better than .300 hitting and an 81 percent side-out conversion rate... However, the two numbers dropped to .159 and 53 percent in the three losses... Plum, a junior DS, provided one of the finer highlights from the weekend with her serving run in Set 2 vs. LBSU... She took to the service line facing a 23-18 deficit, then posted two aces, forced two additional free-ball opportunities that resulted in Aggie kills, and sent the 49ers out of system en route to two attack errors... LBSU had converted 13 of 18 side-out chances until going 0-for-7 with Plum at the service line.
STATISTICAL LEADERS: Woolway continues to rank second in the Big West in assists (10.71), although her 28 digs in last weekend's matches reduced her number of setting opportunities... Sedlak moved up a spot to fifth in blocks (1.09) but slipped one position to sixth in hitting (.315)... Mercado stayed at fourth in digs (4.11), while Whitson remains sixth in kills (3.65)
UP NEXT: UC Davis hosts Pacific for Saturday's season finale, which will also serve as Senior Night for middle blockers Katie Denny and Betsy Sedlak... Denny, originally from Lake Forest, Calif., has been a four-year starter in the program... Sedlak, a native of Pleasanton, Calif., is a two-year team captain who transferred from Oregon before her sophomore year... Sedlak and Denny rank 2nd (388) and 3rd (360) in career blocks at UC Davis... Sedlak, who holds the three-year record for blocks, also will become the new school's career record-holder in hitting average... She enters Saturday's match with a .334 rate, well ahead of Candy Lench's .309... Collectively, the two seniors' have taken part in 68 victories, including two 20-win seasons.
PACIFIC (17-11, 8-7) split its matches over the weekend, falling to Long Beach State in three before clipping Cal State Fullerton in a five-set battle on Saturday... Sophomore MB Jennifer Sanders hit 16-1-35 (.429) in the marathon victory over the Titans... Sophomore OH Megan Birch tallied 10 kills against LBSU, 16 against CSF... Senior Samantha Misa ranks 5th in the Big West with 3.74 kills per set while junior Gabby Cowden paces the league in aces (0.40) and ranks 4th in hitting percentage (.334)... Pacific owns a 13-4 all-time record against UC Davis, having fallen to the Aggies in three sets to kick off the 2011 Big West season.
HEAD COACH JAMIE HOLMES:
On the Fullerton/Long Beach weekend: "Especially against Fullerton, I thought we played excellent in Games 1 and 2, and for the most part in Game 3. We made some great improvements in the areas where we needed to improve. We spent a lot of time on the defensive side of the ball and I thought our blocking looked so much more improved. We were getting so many great touches. Offensively, we were firing at every position. So in terms of execution and game play, I was super-pleased. Unfortunately, we made errors at the wrong time. It's up to the players in our program that we need to perform at the right time -- that's why you can outstat a team and lose. It's the timing of the types of errors we're making. I thought we could have won Game 3, which would have made it three and out. We're not at a point in our program where we can let up on an opponent. We let up, and as a result, we came away with an `L.'"
"Long Beach was along the same lines. We did some things that were really good. They're more physical than we are and in a lot of regards, they play the game with more discipline. But we were in the match in every set. Again, it came down to key errors at key times, which shoots us in the feet and takes away the W. I think our players should be very pleased with the execution of play. If we can grow up mentally and have that hunger to finish, to execute at the right times, that will be the difference. What great object lessons and great encouragement going into our last match of the season, but also to go into next year's play. We should have a lot of confidence based on how we played against Long Beach and Fullerton."
On the outgoing seniors: "Betsy came in as a sophomore and instantly brought a winner's mentality. When someone new comes in, they sit back an observe for a while. Betsy took the reins and became our team leader and our team captain. She led this team in a very positive direction. Not only is she a performance leader, she has been an emotional and logistical leader. We'll miss that a lot. Betsy has come in and been straight impressive - she has taught our staff a thing or two."
"Katie Denny has been a four-year starter for us. She's more of a quiet type in her leadership, so she's a leader by example. You go into the weight room and she does everything right. Go into the gym and she's doing everything right. She has left her mark on the program. Both seniors are players who left their marks. I'm super-proud of them and Saturday will be a tough day."