Aggies head into extra set against Mustangs in Big West conference match on Nov. 5, but fail to deliver offensively
Although UC Davis’ women’s volleyball team held its own against Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in the first and third sets, the Mustangs’ offense proved to be unbeatable, making 73 kills compared to the Aggies’ 59. The match finished with final score of 25-20, 23-25, 25-21, 21-25 and 8-15.
With a large crowd on hand, the Aggies impressed during the first set. Three Aggies each finished the match with more than one ace, with freshman outside hitter Lauren Matias’ set-winning ace especially lighting up the fans.
Coming off the win of the first set, the team focused on aggressive defense during the second set, but even with sophomore libero Malia Bolko reading Cal Poly’s attacks perfectly and leading the team with 25 digs, the Aggies fell near the end of the set after allowing two consecutive points to be scored by the opposing team.
The Aggies did not back down during the third set, staying neck-and-neck with Cal Poly, with four tie scores and four lead changes. The Aggies ultimately won the set after coming back from a deficit.
Cal Poly kept a solid lead throughout the fourth set. Despite an energetic comeback, from 9-16 to 21-25, the Aggies could not keep up offensively, leading them into a losing fifth set for the second time this season.
“You can dig balls when you’re not getting good sets. All you can do is put roll shots or easy balls in your court,” head coach Dan Conners said. “Our setters have to be better.”
The Aggies led in blocks throughout the entire night and had more than double the blocks of Cal Poly, with senior middle blocker Aima Eichie getting four blocks during the fourth set, allowing her to match a career high of 10 throughout the game. Despite the impressive defense, offense was the Aggies’ demise in the deciding set, and they managed only three kills.
“We can’t forget how to set,” Conners said. “If we want to be good on offense, our setter has to put the ball in the right spot.”
Although the Aggies were defeated, Matias understands her team’s strengths and looks forward to preparing to face UC Riverside next week.
“We can definitely go up from here. We just need to get after it in all aspects,” Matias said. “We don’t have the biggest hitters, so hard defense will be our focus.”
Though the UC Davis women’s volleyball team played well at times, the team needs to work on its consistency, according to Conners.
“They played their game and we were in and out of ours,” Conners said.
After traveling to UC Riverside on Nov. 8, the UC Davis women’s volleyball team returns home to face Hawai’i on Saturday, Nov. 12 for a 7 p.m. match at The Pavilion.
Written by: Liz Jacobson — firstname.lastname@example.org