Davis, Calif. - For just the second time in 2012, the Pacific women's volleyball team suffered a loss as the Tigers fell to UC Davis, 3-1, on Saturday, September 22, to begin Big West Conference play. The loss dropped the Tigers to 11-2 on the year and 0-1 in the Big West while the Aggies improved to 7-7 overall and 1-0 in the conference.
Set scores for the match were: 25-22, 14-25, 25-19, 25-20.
In what began with high hopes for a fast start to conference play, quickly became a battle for survival as the Aggies took advantage of a blazing offensive start to put Pacific down in a 1-0 hole. Hitting their best in set one at .333, the Aggies put Pacific in an early 11-5 hole before the Tigers were able to recover, even taking the lead late a 22-21. However, the resiliency would not be enough as the Aggies closed the set on a 4-0 run, including picking up the final three points on the block, to win 25-22 and set the stage for the rest of the match.
Down one, the Tigers put together their best set of the night in the second frame as Pacfic took advantage of a killer serve to down the Aggies. Tied at 10-10 early, the Tigers rolled off a 10-1 run from behind the service line that included three of their six second-set aces to bury the Aggies. In addition to their service aces, the Tigers took the Aggies out of system with strong serving, forcing the Aggies into a .000 hitting percentage in the frame.
Briefly back on their feet, the Tigers were immediately knocked back on their heels as the Aggies turned the tables on Pacific from behind the service line. Even at 8-8, the Aggies opened up the third set with a 6-1 run as the Tigers struggled to find the magic they had in the second set.
In set four, the Aggies went back to the block to take down the Tigers as UC Davis used three more blocks to hold the Tigers to a .188 hitting percentage in the frame. For Pacific, it was a fight to recover from a slow start at the beginning of the set as the Tigers fell behind 7-2 to start the frame before coming back. Throughout the set, the Tigers kept battling back to with in striking distance of the Aggies, only to see UC Davis push back to keep Pacific from taking the lead in the set.
Overall, the Tigers had three hitters reach double-digits in kills as junior Megan Birch and freshman Kat Schulz each posted 15 kills. Schulz grabbed her fourth-straight double-double as she added 12 digs to her match totals. In addition to Birch and Schulz, junior Jennifer Sanders pounded down 12 kills on .417 hitting while adding four of the Tigers' six blocks.
The Aggies were led by Devon Damelio who posted 15 kills on .268 hitting while tallying four blocks. Allison Whitson grabbed 10 kills on .024 hitting but also added 13 digs to lead the Aggies' defensively. Blocking-wise, Victoria Lee posted a career-best 10 blocks as the Aggies posted a 13.5-to-6.0 block advantage over the Tigers.
Pacific will be back in action on Tuesday, September 25 as they travel to San Jose State to close out non-conference play. The Tigers and the Spartans will face off at 7:00 pm.