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Davis

Davis, California

Sunday, April 21, 2024

Race for Big West Title begins

As the Aggies begin their quest for a Big West Title, they may look upon their recent success — winning five of their last six preseason games — to instill confidence heading into conference action.

Much of this confidence started with an upset victory over then-18th ranked California in four sets. UC Davis’ win against Cal marked the fourth time the Aggies have beaten a Pac-12 team in the last eight years.

The Aggies would then go on to defeat their Western Athletic Conference foes CSU Bakersfield in another four-set victory.

“In many ways Bakersfield was one of the toughest opponents we played this far,” said coach Jamie Holmes. “They were scrappy, they were edgy, they were playing without fear. Getting that [win] was one of the most significant [wins] in the preseason.”

Despite suffering a tough loss in their opening road conference matchup against CSU Northridge in five sets, coach Holmes was filled with optimism heading into upcoming matchups between CSU Fullerton and UC Riverside.

“It was heartbreaking to lose that match [against CSU Northridge],” Holmes said. “However, the team has presented what [their] goals are, and these next two conference matchups give us an opportunity to chip away at those goals.”

As Big West play continues, UC Davis will have to watch for Fullerton’s senior stars Alyses Hensley and Bre Moreland, who have a team high 146 digs. Fullerton hopes to bounce back with a successful conference home opener after their road loss against sixth-ranked Hawai’i in straight sets.

From there the Aggies, who will be playing with limited rest, will have to square off against a UC Riverside team that has seen better days. The Highlanders are currently 1-12 overall, and have lost their conference opener to Hawai’i in straight sets. However, the Aggies must not overlook Riverside or sophomore outside hitter Ashley Cox, who has a team-high 115 kills.

UC Davis enters road play with an 8-6 overall record and an 0-1 conference record.

– Shaun Moncada

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