In the last match of their season, the Aggies didn’t have much of an answer for Pacific.
The Tigers packed quite a punch on Friday night as Gibson and Anderson slammed down 12 kills each en route to a three-set victory.
But at the end of the match, there was an obvious air of excitement and promise that seemed to fill the Pavilion.
In just her first year as head coach of the UC Davis women’s volleyball team, Jamie Holmes led the Aggies to a 12-17 season. The 12 wins are more than the team’s past three seasons combined.
“In general, I’m happy with the way the season went,” Holmes said. “I feel like our team has a long way to go. Getting 12 wins this season was huge and we’re starting to lay a foundation of winning. We have a great group who wants to be successful and I look forward to having an even better season next season.”
The night meant a farewell to four seniors who have contributed much to the program in the past four years.
Renee Ibekwe has been a rising star throughout her entire career at UC Davis. After redshirting in 2004, Ibekwe played on and off in 2005 and 2006 until her breakout season in 2007, where she posted 278 kills, 112 digs and 25 blocks.
This season, Ibekwe finished with 380 kills, 326 digs and 31 blocks She held claim to the top spot on the Big West Conference leader board in kills for much of the season.
Chantal Paschetta was the Aggie kills leader in ‘05 and ‘06 when she recorded 301 and 300 kills, respectively. After missing much of her ‘07 season, Paschetta came back this year hitting on the opposite side as more of a role player. However, the Fresno native did manage to dig 87 balls and block 40 of them on the season.
Another Aggie who had a great freshman campaign was Michelle Nelson, who saw action in 102 games – good for second on the team – and recorded 223 assists and 218 digs.
Her next three years were spent primarily as a defensive specialist. She totaled 185 digs in 225 games played during that span.
Erin Turner transferred to UC Davis in ‘07 after playing two seasons at Kentucky. In her first season season with the Aggies, Turner played in 84 games, slamming down 202 kills and grabbing 55 blocks. She was plagued by injury this season and saw action in only three matches.
“When I think of our seniors,” Holmes said, “they’re just a really selfless group. They have gone through a lot of good and bad times with UC Davis volleyball, but they are just so passionate about their sport that they stuck through it and it speaks a lot to their character.
“I am going to miss them a ton, but they will come back five years from now and see that all of their determination and hard work paid off.”
MATT MILLER can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.