44.9 F

Davis, California

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Women’s Volleyball Preview

Teams: UC Davis vs. UC Irvine; vs. Long Beach State
Records: Aggies, 12-12 (6-5); Anteaters, 10-15 (5-6); 49ers, 11-11 (6-5)
Where: The Pavilion — Davis
When: Friday at 7 p.m.; Saturday at 7 p.m.
Who to Watch: Putting a twist on a common phrase, ‘consistency is queen.’ In that regard, junior setter Jenny Woolway has been the Queen of her team.

The San Diego native has recorded over 1,000 assists each year she has played for the Aggies and is on pace to shatter former standout Denise Bilbaeno’s school recorder of 3,549 career assists.

Woolway recorded 36 assists in the Aggies’ four set victory against Cal State Fullerton last Friday, totaling 754 for the season and eighth among all Big West setters.

When UC Davis last met LBSU earlier in the season on Oct. 5, Woolway recorded 37 assists, but the effort was not enough as the Aggies dropped a four set loss.

For UC Davis to pull out a win against a tough 49ers team this weekend, expect them to be looking to their setter for leadership.

While Woolway often sports a quiet, unassuming demeanor, there is no doubt that a fire to win burns deep inside her. Look for that fire to come out against two tough opponents this week.

Did you know? UC Davis, Long Beach State and Cal State Fullerton are all in a dead tie for third with 6-5 Big West records apiece.

The three schools trail behind second place Cal State Northridge and UC Santa Barbara by a mere one game, while UC Irvine sits in fourth place, also by the slim margin of a single game.

Hawai’i has set itself head and shoulders above the competition with a dream 12-0 record, but second place is very much up in the air. A single loss or a pair of wins can easily boost any one of these teams into a second place advantage.

Preview: There’s no place like home. There’s no place like — UC Davis. While the Aggies did fight for some well-earned road victories, there is no doubt that the blue and gold colors of their home floor will provide some much needed comfort for this well traveled team.

Six of the Aggies’ last eight games have been on the road and while they did achieve an even 4-4 record during the run, UC Davis will look to steal some crucial victories in front of their home crowd.

“When we last played at Irvine, that was a very good match,” said coach Jamie Holmes. “I thought that was one of the highlights of our season so far.”

The Aggies visited Irvine on Oct. 6 and were able to complete an extremely close 25-23, 25-21, 25-20 sweep of the Anteaters.

Senior outside hitter Allison Whitson had a team high 19 kills while defensive specialist Kaitlyn Plum and Woolway led the defense with 14 digs.

“Irvine is a young team that is physically talented,” Holmes said. “They have a talented outside hitter who we did a great job of containing last time. Being able to do that again is crucial to our success.”

As for Long Beach State, the Aggies have not fared too well against their Southern California rivals. UC Davis has not recorded a victory against the 49ers in over 6 years, making their next meeting not only a must-win, but a grudge match as well.

“Long Beach State is always a very well trained team,” Holmes said. “They execute their skill set very well. We are going to have to do a good job of being efficient.”

In their last matchup, UC Davis came out strong and took game one 25-19. However, the 49ers took advantage of a few mental errors in game two and the Aggies could not recover. UC Davis will focus on executing consistently throughout the match in order to take this crucial win.

— PK Hattis


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