UC Davis was riding a seven game win-streak entering its road trip this weekend.
The big test for the Aggies, however, came this weekend when they faced two top programs on the road.
Unfortunately, for UC Davis, neither game went the Aggies’ way as they dropped both matches to Long Beach State and Cal State Fullerton.
“We had a tough weekend against two very tough opponents,” said coach Jamie Holmes. “We knew it was going to be a tough weekend entering the games and that was the case.”
With the two losses, the Aggies, 12-6 (4-2), fall to second place in the Big West Conference. UC Davis sits a half a game out of the top spot with 11 games left on the schedule.
Friday – Long Beach State 3, UC Davis 0
The Aggies lost all three sets by a combined 30 points.
Holmes believes that difference was a good indicator of how UC Davis played against the 49ers.
“It was a bad match,” Holmes said. “We were out of rhythm and [not in] sync all match.”
Holmes attributed the poor play to the fact that the Aggies traveled the day of the match and to their unfamiliarity with the 49ers’ home gym.
“They play at the Pyramid and it can be unfriendly to visiting teams,” Holmes said. “I think it took us the first set to get used to the facility.”
Senior Melanie Adams led UC Davis offensively with 11 kills and a .375 hitting average, but the Aggies struggled with a team hitting percentage of .079.
UC Davis only tasted the lead for three points all game, demonstrating the dominant performance of Long Beach State.
Saturday – Cal State Fullerton 3, UC Davis 2
While Friday’s game could be considered a laugher, Saturday’s was easily a heartbreaker.
After losing the first set, UC Davis battled back to take a 2-1 lead. Unfortunately for the Aggies, the Titans came out on top in the fourth and fifth game to take the match.
“It was certainly a tough match against [Cal State] Fullerton,” Holmes said. “We competed really hard with an enormous amount of passion. We’re disappointed our efforts didn’t equal a W.”
Holmes said she saw a lot of improvement from Friday’s match to this one. Unfortunately, the Aggies couldn’t hold on to the victory.
In the fifth and final game, UC Davis was one point away from taking the set and the match, but Cal State Fullerton won three straight points to get the win.
“This loss hurt really badly,” Holmes said. “We had opportunities to win and we just couldn’t put it away. We want to be able to close out the match, but we just didn’t score at the right time.”
Despite leading the Titans in nearly every statistical category including kills, digs and blocks, the Aggies still lost. Holmes attributes this to UC Davis not scoring at the right times.
“Sometimes it’s just about when you score,” Holmes said. “We outplayed them in almost everything, but it comes down to the timing of executing a play.”
UC Davis will look to rebound at home this weekend when it takes on Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara.
JASON ALPERT can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.