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Davis, California

Monday, April 22, 2024

The best keeps getting better

The Aggies have lost once this season. And it looks like they may never lose again.

UC Davis continued its hot start this year with a win over UC Irvine on Saturday. The victory is the Aggies’ 11th in a row and it moves their record to 16-1 this season, improving on the best start to a season in school history. UC Davis also moves to 2-0 in Big West Conference play, remaining tied for first place in the league.

The Aggies opened strong, winning the first set 25-18. The key to the fast start was UC Davis’ ability to control the net.

“We were able to get some good blocks and some good swings [early on],” said junior Allison Whitson. “It helped us get off to a good start.”

The teams traded sets from there, with the Anteaters winning the second and the Aggies taking the third. UC Irvine squeaked out a fourth set win to force a fifth set.

In the fifth set, it came down to which team wanted it more. The Aggies showed a great deal of effort, as they took the frame 15-9 and locked down the victory.

Sophomore Jenny Woolway believes the home-court advantage helped motivate the team.

“Playing at the Pavilion adds another advantage for us,” she said. “This is our house and we want to make sure people know that when they play here. We want to protect it.”

Whitson led the Aggies with 19 kills. The UC Davis offense was orchestrated by Woolway, as the San Diego, Calif. native tallied 49 assists in the match.

“It was all about passing,” Woolway said. “The passing was on tonight, and when the passing is on it sets me up to try to set up our hitters.”

On the defensive end, sophomore Devon Damelio and junior Caroline Mercado led the Aggies, finishing with 22 and 21 digs, respectively.

The Aggies will take their winning streak on the road this week as they face Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara on the road. While UC Davis knows it has accomplished a lot this season, the Aggies feel they need to continue working.

“We just need to come back to practice on [next] Monday ready to go,” Woolway said. “We need to keep taking it one practice at a time; one game at a time. We can’t start to get outside of ourselves.”

TREVOR CRAMER can be reached at sports@theaggie.org.

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