At stake for UC Davis heading into Saturday night’s match against Pacific was the chance at a share of the Big West Conference title and a the first 20-win season since 1996.
With Long Beach State’s win, the first went out the window but the possibility of a 20-win season was still intact.
“[Pacific] wants a .500 conference season, which is motivation in itself to show up and gave a good match,” said coach Jaime Holmes. “Plus, it’s Senior Night for them so the team will want to show up for the seniors.”
UC Davis had some motivation of its own.
“Pacific is our Northern California partner in the conference, and it’s always fun to play teams in your area,” Holmes said. “Our team would like to get to that magical mark of a 20-win season.”
The Aggies’ desire showed in a sweep of the Tigers, ending the season with a 20-10 mark and an 11-5 record in conference play.
Not only did the Aggies get their 20-win season but they did it in commanding fashion winning all three sets by scores of 25-22, 25-14, 25-15.
Junior opposite Melanie Adams had 12 kills and hit .400 while freshman Allison Whitson added 11 kills, a .476 kill percentage for the Aggies.
Whitson only committed one error in 21 swings while Adams only had two in 25 attempts as the Aggies hit an impressive .367 as a team for the match.
Junior Kayla Varney tallied 11 kills along with nine digs. Sophomore middle blockers Betsy Sedlak and Katie Denny each had five kills on 11 swings.
The dominant victory was a fitting end to a magical season for the Aggies. Their 11 wins in the Big West put the Aggies in a three-way tie for second with UC Irvine and UC Santa Barbara. Long Beach State took the conference with a 12-4 record.
With the end of the season also comes the end of three careers – Carson Lowden, Avreeta Singh and Tori Hooper – who were the heart and soul of the Aggie team.
“I’m going to miss this class of seniors,” Holmes said. “They have been a wonderful group. They epitomize the type of athlete you want in your program. They’re respectful, they’re unselfish, they work hard everyday and they think of their team.”
The 2009 season marks the best of Holmes’ short two-year career with the Aggies. During her tenure, the Aggies have accumulated 32 total victories, a stark contrast from the four-win season the Aggies had in 2007.
The UC Davis volleyball program looks to be in good hands for the future.
KYLE HYLAND can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.