Even after defeating both Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara last weekend, head coach Jamie Holmes would not let her team take the Cal State Northridge lightly in a Saturday night contest in the Matadome.
“We barely escaped with a win from Northridge at our place,” Holmes said. “We went five. The scores were close and they won the statistical battle. It just showed that we were scoring at the right time. So going into Northridge will be no easy battle.”
With this attitude, UC Davis entered the Matadome expecting a battle. At the end of the night, the Aggies found themselves on the better side of a 3-0 sweep.
Sophomore middle blockers Betsy Sedlak and Katie Denny combined for 19 kills and a .548 hitting percentage leading the Aggies to a 26-24, 25-19, 25-17 win over the Matadors.
Freshman outside hitter Allison Whiston had nine kills and five blocks for the Aggies while senior setter Carson Lowden added five kills and three blocks.
The Aggies added to their conference lead in blocks with eleven against the Matadors.
With the win, the Aggies move to 16-7 overall and 7-2 in Big West Conference play. The Matadors drop to 7-15 overall and 3-5 in Big West action.
The win also guarantees the Aggies their first winning season since 2003 and the first in their short Division I history.
The Aggies have been playing some strong volleyball all year, partly in thanks to Holmes and strong senior leadership.
“What stands out in my mind is that the Aggies are just battling,” Holmes said. “If they dig a hole for themselves, they slowly dig their way out. They persevere and keep on fighting, all the way to the very end. It has been like that all season long.”
The Aggies are going to continue to need that fight as their schedule will not get any easier as another battle with No. 19 UC Irvine will occur this Friday night at Hickey Gym
Holmes is very proud of her team’s success this year, but still feels her team has a lot to prove.
“What’s going to be important is how we respond to it, what we do next,” Holmes said. “Do we feel like we’ve arrived or do we feel like there is something special in the making?”
The Aggies will try and answer that question this weekend as they welcome one of the better teams in the country into their court.
KYLE HYLAND can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.