45.3 F

Davis, California

Saturday, April 13, 2024

Women’s volleyball is victorious in five sets against UC Irvine

The Aggies command a 15-3 win in final set, toppling the Anteaters

By GABRIEL CARABALLO — sports@theaggie.org

The opening set between UC Davis and UC Irvine set the tone for the entirety of the game that took place at UC Davis on Thursday, Sept. 29. The lead went back-and-forth between these two teams — the score was tied a total of seven times just in this first set alone. UC Davis accumulated 37 total attacks compared to UC Irvine’s 32, while Irvine would outdo the Aggies in kills with 18 compared to Davis’ 14, which would decide the first set in favor of the Anteaters. 

To start the second set, the Aggies scored three straight points, taking an early lead they would maintain for the rest of the set. The Anteaters battled back, tying the score three times, but the Aggies won the second set 25-23. UC Irvine piled up 17 kills to go along with 42 total attacks, compared to UC Davis’ 16 kills and 40 total attacks. 

The beginning of the third set looked a lot like the second set. The score was tied five times and had three lead changes as the teams fought for the lead. However, after UC Irvine scored its ninth point of the set, the Aggies scored five in a row without challenge, making the score 15-9. UC Irvine would only score seven more points in set 3, which the Aggies won 25-16.  In the first blowout set of the match, UC Davis racked up nine kills and 44 total attacks, while UC Irvine only had four kills, but 45 total attacks. What made this match a runaway was the Anteaters’ 14 total errors, which hindered their ability to score. 

Going into the fourth set of the game, the Aggies were in command and maintained a decent lead for about half the set, when the Anteaters tied the score 10-10 and went on a five-point scoring streak of their own. Once they had a 15-10 lead, the momentum swung to the Anteaters, and UC Irvine would go on to win the fourth set 25-14. UC Irvine accumulated 15 kills and 29 total attacks and UC Davis had 10 kills and 32 total attacks. 

The match was tied two sets to two, which meant the winner of the fifth and final set would take the win. The Aggies kicked up their horsepower and went on two separate five-point scoring streaks, leading them to victory. The Aggies won the set 15-3 and took the match three sets to two. 

According to UC Davis Head Coach Dan Conners, the team’s success in the match was in large part due to their defensive play.

“We played our defensive system better tonight than we have all year,” Conners said.

The Aggies had an incredible defensive output with 14 total blocks, half of which came from fourth-year middle blocker Josephine Ough, and an impressive 62 digs, 18 of which were shoveled out by third-year defensive specialist Shira Lahav. 

UC Davis’ offense was set up by second-year setter Cassie Newman who racked up a dominant 43 assists and was spearheaded by second-year opposite hitter Olivia Utterback, who had a game-leading 16 kills. 

“[Utterback] followed the game plan and executed really well … and took them [UC Irvine] out of what they wanted to do,” Conners said.

Since their victory against UC Irvine, the Aggies picked up another win against UC San Diego to give them an 8-6 overall record and 3-1 record in conference play. This weekend, they will be on the road to face California State University Bakersfield on Oct. 7 and Cal Poly on Oct. 8.

Written by: Gabriel Caraballo — sports@theaggie.org