All good things must come to an end.
For the UC Davis women’s volleyball team, that means its 11-game winning streak is now history.
The Aggies dropped two contests on the road over the weekend as they traveled down the coast for Big West Conference play. UC Davis first fell 3-0 to Cal Poly and then lost to UC Santa Barbara in a five-set heartbreaker.
With the duo of defeats, the Aggies move to 16-3 on the season and 2-2 in Big West action. They are currently tied for fourth in the conference.
Friday – Cal Poly 3, UC Davis 0
It was not the start the Aggies would have hoped for when starting a difficult two-game road-swing.
UC Davis failed to ever get a real grip on the game as it fell to Cal Poly in straight sets.
The match was riddled with Aggie mistakes, as the team struggled their way to a .116 hitting percentage – their lowest number of the season and well below their season average of .232. UC Davis also tallied 27 attack-errors.
“We knew coming in that we would need to execute to the best of our abilities if we wanted a chance to win,” said coach Jamie Holmes. “Unfortunately we didn’t do that. We struggled offensively, and we hit well below our average. When that happens, things become very difficult for us.”
On the other side of the net, Cal Poly performed well, as junior middle-blocker Jennifer Keddy tallied 16 kills and hit .519.
The UC Davis offense was led by sophomore Devon Damelio and freshman Valerie Brain as they tallied nine kills apiece.
Junior Caroline Mercado finished with 16 digs.
Saturday – UC Santa Barbara 3, UC Davis 2
The Aggies were looking to respond as they traveled south for Saturday’s match against the Gauchos.
UC Davis got off to the start it was looking for, as it won the first set 25-23, but UCSB responded taking two of the next three sets and forcing a fifth.
The final frame was a back-and-forth struggle with the Aggies bringing the game to match-point at 14-11 before the Gauchos roared back to take a match-point of their own at 15-14. UC Davis continued to battle, fighting off that match-point and another at 16-15 before finally falling 18-16.
The late-game drama presented mixed emotions for Holmes.
“It was nice to see that we were able to compete at this high level,” she said. “We had opportunities to win, but we just made dumb errors at bad times. When it comes to the fifth set we need to be relaxed and we can’t be giving [opponents] dumb points through stupid errors.”
Junior Allison Whitson reached a career milestone in the contest, becoming the seventh player in UC Davis history to tally 1,000 career kills. Whitson recorded 16 kills in the match, while Brain added 14.
Five Aggies reached double-figure digs, with Mercado and sophomore Jenny Woolway leading the team with 23 and 18 digs, respectively.
UC Davis will return to action on Friday when it returns home to face UC Riverside.
TREVOR CRAMER can be reached at email@example.com.