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UC DAVIS GRINDS OUT FIVE-SET VICTORY OVER VOLLEYBALL
Kelsey Elston led the team in kills (13) and blocks (7) while hitting .346 against UC Davis
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Allison Whitson (21) and Valerie Brain (15) combined for 36 kills, including eight in the fifth set, to lead UC Davis to a 3-2 victory (25-21, 25-21, 19-25, 24-26, 15-12) over Sacramento State in the volleyball version of the Causeway Classic Tuesday evening at Colberg Court.
With the victory, UC Davis, which is off to its best start in school history and is currently receiving votes in the AVCA top 25, won its sixth straight while improving to 11-1. The Aggies beat the Hornets for just the second in the last 16 meetings between the two schools dating back to 1993, and snapped an eight-match losing streak against Sacramento State when playing inside the Nest. Sacramento State, which now owns a 50-18 all-time record against the Aggies, dropped to 5-5 overall this season.
In a match that featured a large amount of long rallies, tense moments and tie scores, UC Davis came through in the end. The fifth set featured six tie scores, but the Aggies never trailed in the decisive frame. The three-point margin of victory in the fifth set was also UC Davis’ largest lead of the frame. After a kill from Janelle Currey drew the Hornets even at 10-10, the Aggies finished on a 5-2 run, which included a pair of kills from Devon Damelio and the match clincher from Brain.
Sacramento State did not play well in the first two sets, combining to hit just .058 over those two frames. After winning the third set handily, the Hornets had to charge back from a 17-13 deficit in the fourth before taking its first lead of the set at 22-21. At 24-24, a kill from Eryn Kirby and ace from Kirby gave the Hornets the 26-24 win to force the fifth set.
UC Davis held an advantage over the Hornets in kills (67-54), hitting percentage (.186-.138), assists (64-52) and digs (91-73). Sacramento State had six aces and 14.0 team blocks, including a match-best seven from Kelsey Elston. In fact, four different Hornets had at least five blocks, including Olivia Moss (6), Kayla Beal (5) and setter Anna Schoener (5).
Sacramento State hit above .210 in the two sets it won, and below .200 in each of the three sets it lost. Elston led the Hornets with 13 kills and a .346 hitting percentage. Janelle Currey (11 kills, 15 digs) and Eryn Kirby (11 kills, 13 digs) both had double-doubles for Sacramento State and Schoener had four kills, 21 assists and a .667 hitting percentage (4-0-6). Beal added seen kills and Moss had four. Despite being early in the third season of her career, Currey surpassed the 1,000 dig mark tonight, and already has 1,009 career digs.
Sacramento State had four players finish with double-figure digs, comprised of Currey, Kirby, libero Breanne Menees (match-high 23) and defensive specialist Sydney Kordic (11). Menees has now tallied at least 23 digs in four of her last seven matches.
Whitson, Brain and Damelio (15) combined for 51 of UC Davis’ 67 kills while Damelio also added 21 digs. Brain came up large in the fifth set as her four kills accompanied a .375 hitting percentage (4-1-8). Jenny Woolway (22), Caroline Mercado (19) and Kaitlyn Plum (17) also tallied double figures in digs for the Aggies.
Sacramento State returns to action later this week when the team plays in a three-day tournament hosted by Saint Mary’s. The Hornets play Kansas State on Thursday (5 p.m.), Saint Mary’s on Friday (7 p.m.) and Utah Valley on Saturday (4 p.m.).
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