DAVIS, Calif. -- The second round of Big West Conference matches begins on Saturday, when UC Davis women's volleyball hosts UC Irvine for the third of a five-match homestand. Match time is 7 p.m.
The Aggies (11-9, 3-5) picked up a pair of home wins last week, overcoming a 2-0 deficit to take down UC Riverside in five sets on Thursday, then sweeping Cal State Fullerton on Saturday. UC Davis now sits sixth in the Big West, a half-match behind Long Beach State (3-4) and a full win behind fourth-place UC Santa Barbara (4-4).
Who: UC Irvine at UC Davis
When: Saturday, October 20 • 7 p.m.
Where: The Pavilion (Davis, Calif.)
Live Stats: StatBroadcast (http://statb.us/b/235001)
Live Video: Big West TV (http://bigwest.sidearmstreaming.com/watch/?Live=1348)
PROMOTIONS: Saturday's match is the annual Dig Pink promotion, plus Youth Night for school teams... Groups may use the promo code YOUTHVB when purchasing tickets.
ABOUT THE AGGIES: Senior OH Emily Allen continues to pace the Aggies in kills (3.80 kps), while senior libero Malia Bolko ranks second in the Big West in digs (4.80 dps)... As a team, UC Davis leads the conference in digs (17.18).... Thursday's win over UC Riverside saw numerous career-best performance, most notably from senior OPP Nicola Moore (17 kills, .519 hitting) and redshirt freshman OPP Leonie Strehl (18 kills)... Senior OH Brianna Karsseboom narrowly missed her digs PR with 17, then hit 12-1-26 (.423) on Saturday against the Titans... In the last five matches (starting with UCSB on Sept. 29), freshman MB Josie Ough has hit 40-13-86 (.314) with 28 total blocks, compared to 30-12-73 (.247) and 16 blocks previous to that point.
"[Josie] still has some things to work on, but she has come a long way," said head coach Dan Conners. "She is much more often in the right place at the right time, which has helped her out with her offensive numbers, plus she's starting to see the game defensively to get her over the net when she needs to be. Especially on the pins, she's doing a nice job at getting out and closing blocks."
ABOUT THE ANTEATERS: UC Irvine (12-7, 4-1) is all alone in third place in the Big West... The Anteaters swept the three Big West awards this week, with setter Ali Koumelis (Player of the Week), OH Abby Marjama (Freshman of the Week) and Haley DeSales (Defensive POW) claiming the honors... No UCI player hits more than three kills per set, but four players average better than two: OH Loryn Carter (2.98), OPP Harlee Kekauoha (2.51), Marjama (2.46) and MB Idara Akpakpa (2.15).
"They are very balanced, they get kills from everywhere," said Conners. "It makes them tough to stop, and they play good ball control, so they are able to distribute a balanced offense. They do the two things you really want to do well: play good defense and be efficient attacking."
CAREER RECORDS WATCH: Allen enters Saturday's match with 924 career kills and 934 career digs... Only four Aggies have made the 1,000 club in both categories: Candy Lench (1989-92), Jill Changaris (1993-96) and Kelly Gaudino (2000-03)... Thanks to 40 more last weekend, Bolko has 1,721 career digs, 110 shy of catching Avreeta Singh (2006-09) for school record... UC Davis has eight matches left on its regular-season slate.
ABOUT UC DAVIS: Providing a small-town community feel while providing a world-class academic experience, UC Davis is home to more than 37,000 students and centrally located between San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, and the Napa Valley. The No. 5-ranked public university in the nation according to the Wall Street Journal, and among the top 10 public universities nationwide according to U.S. News and World Report, UC Davis offers nearly 100 graduate programs and more than 100 academic majors across four colleges and six professional schools, ranking among the world and nation's best in numerous disciplines, including veterinary science, agriculture, and plant and animal programs.
AGGIE EVO: Established in 2017-18, the Aggie EVO System is UC Davis Athletics' investment in the primary mission of preparing student-athletes for a successful "launch" after graduation. Thanks to a collaboration of alumni, university resources, corporate partners, coaches and Student-Athlete Outcomes staff, all Aggies are guided over four years to acquire the skills, knowledge, opportunities and tools to better know and navigate the "World of Work" after graduating from UC Davis. Follow the Aggie EVO system on Twitter and Instagram at @AggieEVO.