Nov. 20, 2012
Saturday, Nov. 24 - at Pacific, 7 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 16 - CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE (W, 3-2)
Saturday, Nov. 17 - HAWAI'I (L, 0-3)
TO RECAP: UC Davis (16-14, 10-7) clinched a winning season with a weekend split with Cal State Northridge and No. 7 Hawai'i... The Aggies highlighted the weekend with a five-set victory over the Matadors, dominating for two sets, struggling for the third and fourth, then recovering to salvage a fifth-set triumph... UC Davis briefly moved into third place after Friday's match but CSUN's sweep of Pacific moved the Aggies back into fourth by a half-win margin.
CAREER NIGHT: Friday's five-set win provided the opportunity for numerous career-high marks... Among the most notable: senior OH Allison Whitson's 25 kills, sophomore MB Katie Quinn's 14 kills and .700 hitting average, senior libero Caroline Mercado's 27 digs (tied) and sophomore S Lindsay Dowd's two aces... Also of note were performances by sophomore MB Victoria Lee (11 kills, .357 hitting, 8 blocks), senior DS Kaitlyn Plum (13 digs) and redshirt freshman OPP Holland Seymour (2 kills and a block in a fourth-set appearance).
MILESTONE WATCH: Mercado finished the weekend with 42 digs in the two matches, bringing her total to 1,017 heading into her final weekend... She became the seventh player in school history to surpass quadruple digits in career digs... The next to do so will likely be junior Jenny Woolway, he has 917 entering Saturday's match... No setter in school history has ever reached the 1,000-dig circle... Woolway also moved past Cristie McLaughlin on the career assists chart for No. 2 overall... With 3,437 heading into the Pacific match, she needs 113 to break the 1990 record set by Cal Aggie Athletics Hall of Fame inductee Denise Bilbaeno... Of course, Woolway's total is the highest in the era of rally scoring (which means finite opportunities for assists).
As for season milestones, Whitson needs 12 kills to move past Jill Changaris for No. 5 in the UC Davis season record book... Her total of 1,256 swings inched past Changaris for the No. 4 slot in the category... Lee's 132 blocks ranks as the No. 3 total in school history, 14 behind Betsy Sedlak's 2010 benchmark of 146.
STATISTICAL LEADERS: Lee remained at No. 3 in blocks (1.19) and No. 4 in hitting (.306) among Big West Conference leaders... Whitson held at No. 4 among kills leaders at 3.93 per set... Woolway ranks seventh in assists (8.61) while Mercado moved up one spot to No. 9 in digs (3.70)... In conference matches only - which also determines All-Big West honors - Lee ranks 3rd in hitting (.314), Whitson is fourth in kills (4.14), Woolway is 5th in assists (9.48), Quinn ranks 7th in hitting (.282)... Whitson also ranks 3rd in total points (4.55), which combines kills, aces and blocks.
UP NEXT: The Aggies finish their 2012 season at Pacific, where they have enjoyed recent success: UC Davis has won three straight matches in Stockton, including three-set sweeps in 2009 and 2011.
PACIFIC (20-10, 8-9) picked off the second and third sets in Friday's marathon against Hawai'i before succumbing by scores of 25-16 and 15-7 down the stretch... Senior setter Hannah Clancy tallied 19 digs while redshirt freshman Anne-Sophie Bauer led offensively with 15 kills... The Tigers hit just .112, including .056 (19-15-71) in the second and third sets, in a 3-0 loss to Cal State Northridge on Saturday... MB Jennifer Sanders was a bright spot with 9-2-18 hitting (.389) and three blocks... Junior OH Megan Birch leads Pacific with 390 kills (3.31 kps) while sophomore MB Gillian Jacob's 1.25 blocks average ranks second in the Big West.
WHITSON VS. WHITSON: Saturday's match will also serve as the second and final matchup between the two Whitson sisters... Kimmy Whitson has played 20 matches as a freshman, taking over as the lone setter for five matches in October when Clancy went down with injury... In the first sibling-rivalry match, Allison hit 10 kills with 13 digs while Kimmy came off the bench late in the third set to record three assists and a block... Parents Bruce and Debbie made sure to sit dead-center in the arena during one of the only times they did not wear "#6 Whitson" T-shirts at a UC Davis volleyball match.
HEAD COACH JAMIE HOLMES:
"Northridge is a quality opponent and a really good blocking team. They play really good defense. So I'm very proud of the team's effort and focus. Many of our team members had career highs in some categories, which is fun to see. Coming out of the locker room, Northridge began serving tougher which took us out of system. It was more predictable where we would set the ball. And vice versa, we didn't serve as tough as we did in [sets] one and two, so they were more in system. They were able to get into a flow and rhythm. Once you let a team like Northridge into a flow, they start believing. When Holland Seymour came in during the fourth, she had two kills right away and celebrated like crazy. She was a real sparkplug for us, which caused our players to think about the situation we were in. She lifted us. Every time we've put her in this year, she's provided us with a quality performance."
"I know now more than at any other point in the season that we need to serve tougher. Period, the end. When the other team is in system, our whole performance goes downhill. All of sudden, we're not blocking and our defense is exposed. Then we're not getting good swings in transition. So for us, it's very much key that the other team doesn't pass at 2.4-2.5, like I think Hawai'i was."
On the 2012 seniors: "In the last two months, Allison Whitson has improved a ton. She has significantly decreased her errors while maintaining the same kill percentage. Offensively, she has really matured. As someone who plays all six rotations, her whole game is solid. Kaitlyn Plum has come out of her shell since the match at UC Irvine. You see her clawing her way into the serve receive. Truth be told, she was probably our best passer in the second half of the season so it's nice to see her assert herself in those areas. She gets a lot of touches and her technique makes it look good. She's one of our better servers and I want to see her really go for it this weekend. Then Caroline Mercado has had a bumpy season but she has worked hard. She had 27 digs on Friday, so huge congratulations to her for getting her 1,000th dig in just two years as our libero. Plus, we're at Pacific and Ally's sister is there, so it will be fun to see how she responds to that. We've been fortunate to play well at their place at the end of the season."