Teams: UC Davis at UC Riverside; No. 24 UC Irvine
Records: Aggies, 11-5 (2-0); Highlanders, 1-10 (0-2), Anteaters, 11-3, (1-1)
Where: The Student Recreation Center – Riverside, Calif.; Crawford Court – Irvine, Calif.
When: Friday at 7 p.m.; Saturday at 7 p.m.
Who to Watch: Freshman outside hitter Allison Whitson led the Aggies last weekend with 19 kills in each of UC Davis‘ wins against Pacific and Cal State Northridge last weekend at Hickey Gym.
The Palo Alto, Calif. native has started off her collegiate career strong as she is currently ranked eighth in the Big West Conference in kills with 3.4 per set.
Did you know: The last time the Aggies started 2-0 in conference play was in 1996 when they competed in the North California Athletic Conference; that year, UC Davis won its first 11 conference matches.
Preview: The Aggies are undefeated in conference play after an upset win over Pacific in four sets and a five-game victory over Cal State Northridge at home last weekend.
The victory over Pacific was UC Davis‘ first in school history after 12 previous losses.
After the match, coach Jamie Holmes said it was nice to play at home after being on the road all summer.
“I think everyone was wondering what it would be like to play in Hickey Gym,” Holmes said. “I know they were happy to play in front of their friends and the Aggie Pack. I think it’s a milestone for our program to open 2-0. It helps the team understand that the hard work and the little things we do really add up.“
This weekend the Aggies are back on the road where they will face UC Riverside, who has lost their last seven matches.
UC Davis will then matchup against a tough team in UC Irvine who is ranked 24th in the nation after sweeping Cal Poly Friday night and falling in five to UC Santa Barbara the next day.
After that loss, the Anteaters will be looking to take out their frustration on the Aggies after a tough loss last weekend.
Knowing this, Holmes wants to make sure her team works as hard as possible during practice this week.
“It will be important for me, as a coach, to not let up in practice this week,” Holmes said. “We have to continue to get better and continue to learn. We can’t take a break just because we’re in happy spirits.“
– Kyle Hyland