Teams: UC Davis vs. UC Riverside; UC Irvine
Records: Aggies (8-9, 0-4); Highlanders (6-12, 1-2); Anteaters (7-9, 2-1)
Where: The Pavilion
When: Today at 7 p.m.; Saturday at 7 p.m.
Who to watch: Freshman middle blocker Katie Denny has been hot as of late, averaging 5.8 kills per game in her past five matches.
In her most recent match, the El Toro High School graduate slammed down seven kills on only 10 swings.
Did you know? If you want to meet your favorite UC Davis women’s volleyball player, this weekend is your chance.
Sophomores Kayla Varney and Emily Thomas and seniors Michelle Nelson and Erin Turner will be signing autographs after Friday and Saturday’s matches, respectively.
Preview: After falling to the Big West Conference’s top two teams on the road last weekend, UC Davis returns home in search of its first home conference win.
The women’s volleyball team is off to a rough start in conference play, having dropped its first four by a combined score of 367-290 – including a pair of three-game sweeps last week.
But this weekend could be a different story.
UC Davis first faces UC Riverside tonight. The Highlanders beat Cal State Northridge (5-13, 0-5) in their last match, but lost 10 straight before that.
In Saturday’s match, UC Davis will square off against UC Irvine. The Anteaters have had the Aggies’ number in the series, going undefeated in all eight matches dating back to 1981.
Renee Ibekwe will hope to lead the Aggies offensively with her conference-leading 3.94 kills per set, but head coach Jamie Holmes is starting to look in different places for more offensive production.
“We continue to work hard with the middles, right sides and setters,” she said. “We want more offense out of different areas. I’d like to see more production from our middles.”
Other than that, Holmes just wants the Aggies to be consistent.
“I hope that our serve-receive line is solid and that we serve the ball tough,” Holmes said. “I’d like to see us play with more consistency from the time the whistle starts the match to the time the whistle stops the match. Whether that’s a ‘W’ or an ‘L’, it’s just a by-product of going through the process.”
– Matt Miller