Teams: UC Davis vs. Cal State Fullerton; vs. Long Beach State
Records: Aggies, 20-8 (6-7); Titans, 11-14 (6-7); 49ers 17-6 (11-2)
Where: The Pavilion
When: Friday at 7 p.m.; Saturday at 7 p.m.
Who to watch: Junior libero Caroline Mercado has played every set this season. The Alameda, Calif. native lead the Aggies with 416 digs this year — an average of over four digs per-set.
Did you know? Despite losing their last seven road games, the Aggies still have a chance to make the NCAA Tournament.
UC Davis currently sits 91st nationally in RPI, one of the main factors used by the NCAA Selection Committee when they choose the 64-team playoff field.
The Aggies could greatly improve that number with wins in their last three matches.
Still, head coach Jamie Holmes insists her team is not focusing on the postseason at this point.
“Our destiny is out of our hands at this point,” Holmes said. “We have to play as well as we can and then wait. We’re at the mercy of the [Selection] committee.”
Preview: The Aggies will need to flip the script this weekend if they plan to make a late season push.
UC Davis lost 3-0 to both Cal State Fullerton and Long Beach State when it faced them in Southern California earlier this season.
The Aggies have a big advantage on their side this time, however: home-court advantage.
UC Davis is undefeated at the Pavilion this season, beating both Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara in its last home stand.
“We’re really excited to be back at home this week,” Holmes said. “We have a stellar record at the Pavilion and we play really well there.”
The Aggies will need to be on the top of their game if they plan to beat the 49ers Saturday.
Long Beach State is the top team in the Big West Conference, and will present a formidable challenge.
For UC Davis, however, the formula remains simple.
“We just need to play Aggie volleyball,” Holmes said. “We need to pass well, play firm defense and stick to our system. If we do those things it will be an exciting weekend.”
— Trevor Cramer