Pacific Womens' Volleyball: Tigers Do It Again As They Rally In Five To Beat UC Davis
Avenging their loss from the beginning of the conference season, the Pacific women's volleyball team closed out Big West Conference play with a five-game victory over UC Davis on Saturday, November 20. The win for the Tigers ended their conference season at 9-7 in Big West play, good enough for a fifth place finish, and their overall record to 18-11. The Aggies finish the conference year in sixth at 7-9 while posting a 16-13 overall record. Pacific's victory snapped a three-match winning streak by the Aggies in the all-time series.
Game scores for the match were: 22-25, 25-21, 24-26, 25-17, 15-11.
For the second consecutive match and third time in the last four outings the Tigers rallied in five to dispatch their Big West foe. Just as they did a week prior in Santa Barbara, the Tigers had to overcome their own mistakes which allowed the Aggies to steal games one and three to pick up the victory and finish over .500 in conference play in head coachGreg Gibbonsfirst season at the helm of Tigers' program.
In the first four games of the night, the Tigers got off to quick starts only to see the Aggies come back to make a game of it in the end. In game five, the script was flipped as UC Davis got off to a quick start in the 15-point shortened game only to see the Tigers charge back. Down 9-5 in the fifth and final game, the Tigers mounted a 7-0 run that to take control of the game and the match. FreshmanTaeler Davissparked the run from behind the service line for the Tigers, kicking things off with her career-high fourth service ace of the night while seniorSvenja Engelhardtput the Aggies away with the final three kills of her game-high five in the frame.
Engineering the Tiger attack throughout the night was sophomoreHannah Clancy, who was able to cover a suspect passing night by her backline with unorthodox sets and quick decisions. With Clancy running the show, the Tigers hit .262 in the match despite hitting just .045 in the first game. A microcosm of the entire game, the Tigers poor hitting in the opening frame showed in the final run to 25 when four Pacific attack errors helped the Aggies put together a 6-2 run to turn a 20-19 Tiger lead into a 25-22 Aggie victory.
Turning things around in game two, the Tigers hit .359 against the Aggies, working the ball from the outside in to keep the Aggies off balance. After posting three kills in the opening game, freshmanJennifer Sandersfound her groove in the second frame, throwing down six kills on 11 swings without an error to lead the Tiger attack. Three kills in four points from Sanders midway through the game broke open a 16-16 tie, giving Pacific the breathing room needed to put the Aggies away.
Holding a 21-18 lead late in game three, the Tigers could not hold back an Aggie blitz headed by senior Melanie Adams who, playing her final game in an Aggie uniform, tallied three kills in the game's final seven points. Adams finished the game with five kills while her late charge counterbalanced a burst by sophomoreGabby Cowdenwho tallied five kills on 10 swings in the game.
Needing game four to keep the match going, the Tigers turned to their outsides to breath life into the Pacific attack. Obliging, Engelhardt took over the match with eight kills on 11 error-less attacks while juniorSamantha Misaput down five on 13 swings. With Misa and Engelhardt pounding away from the outsides, the Tigers were able to run away with game four as the team hit a match-high .486 posting 18 kills and just one error on 35 attacks. During the game Engelhardt picked up her 487th kill of the season, passing Tiger great Elsa Stegemann's 1996 campaign, for No. 10 on the Tigers' all-time single season kills list.
For the night, Misa and Engelhardt provided the major punch for Pacific's attack in very different fashions as Misa was a steady presence on the outside throughout the contest en route to a match-high 22 kills while Engelhardt built to a crescendo as she hammered down 20 kills. Engelhardt finished the night with 494 kills on the year to pass Patty Berg's 1980 season (490 kills) for No. 9 on the single-season list. She needs six kills in her final regular season game to become just the seventh Tiger in program history to reach 500 kills in a single campaign.
Additionally, Misa and Engelhardt posted double-doubles in the match as Misa finished with 15 digs for her ninth of the season while Engelhardt had 12 digs for her 14th of the year. Clancy, posted her team-best 16th double-double of the year and eighth straight with 61 assists and 15 digs while the sophomore also added six kills and four blocks. In the middle, Sanders ended the night with 15 kills and four blocks while Cowden posted 11 kills, two aces, three digs and two blocks. JuniorRebekah Torrestied Misa and Clancy for the match lead in digs with 15. Torres moved into No. 6 all-time on Pacific's single-season digs list with 470 on the year as she past Brooke Herrington's 1988 season total of 467.
The Aggies, who were out hit .262-to-.200, had five attackers reach double-figures in kills with Adams posting 13 on 37 attacks to lead the way. Katie Denny added 12 while Morgan Borch and Betsy Sedlak each tallied 11 while Allison Whitson ended her season with 10. Sedlak tallied eight blocks against the Tigers for the second time this season while Whitson, Adams and setter Jenny Woolway each posted double-doubles in the match.
Pacific will close out the 2010 regular season on Saturday, November 27 when the Tigers travel to Moraga, Calif. to take on the West Coast Conferences' No. 2 team in the Saint Mary's Gaels. The match is scheduled for 3:00 pm.