Teams: UC Davis vs. UC Santa Barbara; vs. Cal Poly
Records: Aggies, 18-6 (4-5); Gauchos, 12-10 (5-4); Mustangs 10-12 (5-4)
Where: The Pavilion
When: Friday at 7 p.m.; Saturday at 7 p.m.
Who to watch: Coming off three straight losses, the Aggies will be looking to their senior leadership for guidance.
Four-year starter Katie Denny could provide just that.
The Lake Forest, Calif. native has played in every set this season and has tallied 192 kills with a .300 attack percent.
Did you know? Fridays match will mark the first time in over a month the Aggies have played in the Pavilion.
UC Davis has not been in its usual venue since Sept. 24 when it beat UC Irvine. The Aggies have played two home matches since that time, but both were held in Hickey Gym.
UC Davis is 4-0 in the Pavilion this season – 6-0 at home overall.
Preview: If the Aggies want to make a run at a Big West Conference title their winning streak needs to begin now.
UC Davis is currently sixth in the nine-team league – 3.5 games behind conference leaders Long Beach State, with only seven games remaining.
Just past the mid-point of the season, coach Jamie Holmes believes her team will improve on its 4-5 league record.
“How we went through the first half of Big West Conference play was certainly not how we want to finish,” she said. “This second half is a new mark on the season. The seniors want to leave a refreshing mark in conference play.”
UC Davis will face a significant test this week as they match-up with both UC Santa Barbara and Cal Poly – two teams that defeated the Aggies earlier this season.
For the UC Davis to flip the script, it will need to get back to the fundamentals.
“We just need to revisit the process, revisit what we’re doing, revisit what kind of offense we’re running,” Holmes said. “It’s the basics of the game, which is to serve and pass.”
With those things taken care of, the Aggies should have a solid chance at a pair of wins this weekend. Even with the conference season winding down, however, UC Davis is focusing more on the way it plays than on what the standings reflect.
“I think the team feels a lot of urgency,” Holmes said. “We can’t fixate on the winning and losing; we have to let those things take care of themselves.”
– Trevor Cramer