White leads four Aggies on All-Big West rolls

Nov. 27, 2017

DAVIS, Calif. - Freshman outside hitter Mahalia White captured both first-team and Freshman of the Year accolades to lead four UC Davis student-athletes on the 2017 All-Big West Conference rosters for women’s volleyball as announced by the league office on Monday. Additionally, juniors Malia Bolko and Kelechi Ohiri captured honorable mention while setter Paloma Bowman joined White on the Big West All-Freshman squad.

Additionally, White captured Big West Conference Freshman of the Week honors for the sixth time. She scored 20 kills in the team’s season finale at No. 23 Colorado State on Saturday.

White, an organizational studies major from Canoga Park, California, led UC Davis with 398 kills – the most by a freshman in program history – for a 3.55 per-set average. Her .246 hitting average also led the Aggie pin hitters. White becomes the first UC Davis volleyball player to earn Freshman of the Year distinction. She is also the first Aggie freshman to make the conference’s top squad. White was particularly potent during the conference portion of the year: 260 kills (4.19 kps), a .298 hitting average, and six matches with at least 20 kills. She enjoyed her best performance at Long Beach State on October 27, when she slammed a season-best 27 kills with a .447 success rate. 

Ohiri, a fourth-year organizational studies major from nearby Elk Grove and a student assistant to Chancellor Gary May, tied for second in the Big West with 1.02 blocks per set. Her 106 total stuffs brought her career total to 324, just missing the school’s all-time top 10. Ohiri finished the season with 162 total kills, a team-leading .268 average, 15 solo blocks and 91 block assists.

Bolko, a third-year economics major from Benicia, set a school record with 536 digs, breaking Nichole Brown’s previous benchmark of 526. She earned three Big West Defensive Player of the Week honors, and posted 13 matches with at least 20 digs – the latter of which ties Mary McClelland’s 2004 program record. Bolko also served up 27 aces and committed just 27 errors in 665 total serve receptions as the team’s top passer.

Bowman, a biological sciences major from Vacaville, shared setting duties with junior Maddie Merlino as part of the team’s 6-2 system. She logged 611 assists to go with 16 aces and 195 digs for the year. In the conference season, Bowman became the Aggies’ primary setter on numerous occasions, perhaps most notably in home wins over Long Beach State and Cal State Fullerton. She recorded a season-best 57 assists in that victory against the 49ers while the Nov. 2 victory over the Titans saw UC Davis compile its best attack average (.383) in almost exactly five years.

UC Davis finished 16-14 under fourth-year head coach Dan Conners, and placed fourth in the Big West Conference standings with an 8-8 record.

ABOUT UC DAVIS: Providing a small-town community feel while providing a world-class academic experience, UC Davis is home to more than 37,000 students and centrally located between San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, and the Napa Valley. The No. 6-ranked public university in the nation according to the Wall Street Journal, and among the top 10 public universities nationwide according to U.S. News and World Report, UC Davis offers nearly 100 graduate programs and more than 100 academic majors across four colleges and six professional schools, ranking among the world and nation’s best in numerous disciplines, including veterinary science, agriculture, and plant and animal programs.

DON’T MISS OUT!: Season and single-game tickets for all UC Davis winter sports are now on sale by contacting the Athletics Ticket Office at (530) 752-AGS1 or by visiting us online at UCDavisAggies.com.