The Aggies started the weekend off with a bang, reaching a level of play that they had worked for all season in a satisfying three-game sweep of UC Irvine on Friday night.
The attack was balanced, and the serves were hard and well placed in smothering the Anteaters.
Perhaps the best part of Friday’s win was that every player contributed to the victory. Don’t look for inflated stats or standout players here, for the Aggies are at their best when they act as one cohesive unit.
However, the smooth sailing came to an abrupt end as the waves from Long Beach State crashed hard over the Aggies’ deck.
The Aggies fell to the visiting 49ers and dropped to third in the Big West Conference with a record of 7-6 in Big West play and 13-13 overall.
With over 70 assists for the weekend, setter Jenny Woolway edged closer to UC Davis’ all-time assists record and her spot on the Aggies Wall of Fame.
UC Davis will travel to Cal Poly and Santa Barbara next week in pursuit of their first second-place finish in league since 2009, before returning to Davis for their last home stand of the season on Nov. 16.Friday — UC Davis 3, UC Irvine 1
The Aggies completed their second three-game sweep of UC Irvine this season on the day of their annual “Dig Pink” match — a UC Davis-sponsored campaign to bring breast cancer awareness, research and hope to the world stage.
The event seemed to spark a fire of inspiration in the players as they displayed perhaps their most spirited effort of the year in front of a large and enthusiastic crowd.
It seems only fitting that the Aggies out-dug the Anteaters, finishing with a total of 64 digs on the night. Senior outside hitter Allison Whitson contributed a team high of 14 digs to go along with 13 kills, while setter Jenny Woolway had 37 assists and 12 digs of her own.
Last week, coach Jamie Holmes expressed her team’s need to shut down both of Irvine’s dynamic outside hitters to pull out a victory.
While the Anteater’s freshman outside Marisa Bubica did tally a match-high 16 kills, UC Davis stepped up in key moments with a crucial block or kill in a match that featured 32 ties scores, with 17 in the final set alone.Saturday — Long Beach State 3, UC Davis 1
And the streak continues — only this streak is not one that will please the UC Davis community. Saturday’s loss to the 49ers makes UC Davis 0-17 all-time against their Southern California opponents.
In true Aggie fashion, the game was no giveaway. UC Davis held a lead for about half of each game before the 49ers’ balanced offensive came alive and carried them to the win.
The Aggies came out with a much more aggressive mindset after a tough second-set loss, pulling out a 25-21 victory in the third.
However, the 49ers pieced together an early offensive surge in the fourth game and never looked back.
UC Davis will move on to play Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara next week. Much like this past weekend, they will play a team they have done well against in the past in the Mustangs, then turn around to face a team that has had their number all season.
The team will look to harness the power of momentum and slip back into the second-place slot in their conference.
PK HATTIS can be reached at email@example.com.