The Aggies took on the role of “spoilers” for this year’s Halloween as they pulled off two impressive road wins this past weekend.
UC Davis continued its travels with a trip to Cal State Fullerton on Friday night to take on the Titans. The Aggies were coming off two tough losses the previous week against the University of Hawaii and Cal State Northridge but managed to bring home the win with a hard-fought 22-25, 26-24, 25-15, 25-19 victory.
The Aggies moved on to UC Irvine the following evening and continued their solid play with a 25-13, 25-15, 25-16 rout of the Highlanders.
Friday’s win marked the 100th of coach Jamie Holmes’s career as master and chief, leaving a mark on the volleyball world for all to see. Her career has spanned over 15 years, during which she has worked with five different teams, all of which benefited from her knowledge and ability to win.
Friday — UC Davis 3, Cal State Fullerton 1
With the heavy influence of statistics in this day and age, many analysts refuse to admit that the phrase “clutch player” is anything but a journalistic hyperbole.
However, outside hitter Allison Whitson proved once again that when the Aggies need that extra push for a win, she could fill that empty statistical box under “clutch” with a convincing check mark.
UC Davis’ skid looked like it was just beginning with a punch to the gut in the first set, losing 22-25. But when the pressure mounted, Whitson rose to the occasion, posting 15 kills to compliment her 19 digs as the Aggies were able to take the next three games in a row for the match victory.
“We have had a tendency to give teams a lot of points through dumb errors,” coach Jamie Holmes said. “Shot selection, efficiency when we are attacking and getting our middle attack going — that has been our focus.”
Middle blocker Katie Quinn made sure to bring her hammer and nails as she acted as an impenetrable wall for the UC Davis defense with seven stuffs.
Sophomore Valerie Brain and Junior Devon Damelio cashed in on the setting of Jenny Woolway adding 11 and eight kills, respectively, to the Aggies’ dynamic attack. Woolway finished with 36 assists of her own.
Saturday — UC Davis 3, UC Riverside 1
UC Davis must have been ready to go home, because they made their last game of the road trip a quick one against the UC Riverside Highlanders.
UC Riverside may be having a tough season, but the Aggies were all business, sporting solid play with very few errors.
Perfection is hard to come by in sports, but on this night, several Aggie players gave it a shot.
Outside hitter Devon Damelio had a staggering .579 hitting percentage with 11 kills and zero hitting errors on 19 attempts for the night.
“She hit about 58 percent so that was really neat to see,” Holmes said.
Sophomore middle blocker Victoria Lee went 6 for 9 in her hitting attempts for the night, with zero errors of her own.
“What was great about the Riverside game was that everybody on our team got to play,” Holmes said. “It was nice to see both the middles get some time, Holland [Seymour] on the outside, Mary [Schroeder] and Lindsay [Dowd]. That to me was really a highlight. That excitement really brought on a high level of performance.”
Expect the Aggies bench — and the rest of the team for that matter — to be involved in next week’s tough games against UC Irvine and Long Beach State. UC Davis will look forward to its first home series in two weeks and will bring the high energy that will make the games thrilling.
PK HATTIS can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.