The Aggies knew they had to play their best if they wanted to come away with two wins this weekend.
Unfortunately for UC Davis, the squads they matched up with were ranked first and second respectively in the Big West Conference.
The Aggies ultimately lost both of their matches this weekend to the Matadors and 49ers.
With the two losses, UC Davis drops to 16-10 on the season and 7-6 in conference matches. The Aggies are three and a half games out of first place and are mathematically eliminated from first in the Big West. UC Davis will be unable to gain 20 wins on the season, as well.
Senior Melanie Adams led the Aggies with 22 kills over the weekend.
Friday – Cal State Fullerton 3, UC Davis 0
When UC Davis played Cal State Fullerton earlier this season, it lost in a five-set heartbreaker.
This match was quite different from the earlier one as Cal State Fullerton cruised to the three-set sweep.
The Matadors squeaked by UC Davis in the opening set, taking six of the final nine points to win the set.
From the first set on, all the momentum was on Cal State Fullerton’s bench.
The Matadors cruised to a 25-16 second set victory and won the third set 25-22.
Sophomore Allison Whitson was the only UC Davis hitter in double digits for kills as she recorded ten. Freshman Jenny Woolway continued her strong play as she recorded 33 assists in the loss.
“Jenny has been doing fantastic for us all season,” Holmes said. “She continues to do a solid job in the middle in setting up our outside hitters.”
It was just the fourth straight-set loss the Aggies suffered this season.
Saturday – Long Beach State 3, UC Davis 2
The last time the Aggies faced the Matadors and 49ers in the same weekend, UC Davis was swept convincingly by Long Beach State and fell in a heartbreaker to Cal State Fullerton.
This weekend, the roles were reversed, as it was the 49ers handing the Aggies the heartbreaking defeat.
UC Davis controlled the momentum against second place Long Beach State early, taking the first set 25-19.
The 49ers responded quickly, however, taking the second and third sets 25-21.
The blocking duo of Adams and junior Katie Denny kept UC Davis in the game late.
The Aggies were down 20-14 in the fourth set and Long Beach State looked poised to take the set and the match. Key blocks from Adams and Denny helped the Aggies storm back to tie the score at 22.
Redshirt freshman Devon Damelio came off the bench to score a key kill, as the Aggies took fourth set 28-26.
Long Beach State took advantage of a couple Aggie mistakes to take the fifth and deciding set 16-14.
Holmes said the tight games that end in a loss are the ones that sting the most.
“The close games are the ones that hurt the most,” Holmes said. “When we have opportunities to win and we don’t take advantage of them, it really hurts. It certainly hurts the players as they worked hard to put themselves in a position to win and we didn’t.”
The Aggies are tied with Pacific for fifth place in the Big West with as they enter the final three games of the season.
The last trio of matches will continue to be a challenge for UC Davis. The Aggies will take on UC Santa Barbara and Cal Poly on the road next weekend.
JASON ALPERT can be reached at email@example.com.