There could not have been a more fitting ending.
Senior Betsy Sedlak recorded the block to give UC Davis a 3-0 win over Pacific, drawing cheers from the crowd as the Aggies finished their season with a victory.
It was the final game in the career of both Sedlak, who leads UC Davis in career hitting percentage at .336, and fellow senior Katie Denny, who has been a fixture of the UC Davis lineup for four years.
The match got off to a bit of a rocky start for the Aggies, but they battled Pacific to secure a 25-21 victory in the first set.
UC Davis then followed that with a 25-22 second frame triumph before finishing things off with a 25-23 third set.
“Figuring out the game as it was being played was key for us,” said coach Jamie Holmes. “I was proud that our players were able to pick up on [Pacific’s] weaknesses and exploit them.”
The victory was the perfect way to send off two of the best players in UC Davis history.
“It meant a lot,” Denny said . “It feels good to go out like this. I am very proud of the way we played.”
Junior Allison Whitson led the Aggies with 12 kills, follow by Sedlak with 11. Whitson also tallied 11 digs, four behind fellow junior Caroline Mercado’s game high 15.
Denny finished with seven kills and three digs in the match.
The game was followed by senior day ceremonies.
Holmes choked back tears as she addressed the crowd to say goodbye to two of the cornerstones of the program.
With the chances of UC Davis making an NCAA Tournament berth slim, the Aggies will now take a short break before beginning to focus on next year.
Even with two big pieces missing, Holmes believes UC Davis volleyball can continue to move forward as a program.
“We have young players who can step in,” Holmes said. “Right now is a time for rest, and after that there’s a lot of motivation to work hard in the off-season.”
TREVOR CRAMER can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.