UC Davis 1
UC Irvine 3
Despite losing their first game on Saturday night, the UC Irvine women’s volleyball team won its match against UC Davis, earning both its first victory at home and its first win within the Big West Conference. The team’s record is now 5-13 for the season.
The first game consisted of constant point swapping between the Anteaters and the Aggies and ended with Davis winning 30-28. Over the course of the game, Irvine put up more definitive kills than Davis, but also let more easy points slip through their end of the net.
Late in the first game, senior middle blocker Trisha White went down with an injury. ‘I rolled my ankle about a month ago,’ White said. ‘I landed on my left side blocker’s ankle, and I re-rolled it.’
After that first game, however, the Anteaters came to play for the rest of the match. For the first half of the second game, neither team got ahead by more than a few points. Irvine seemed unable to get more than a couple good serves in a row, and was plagued by faulting on their service game whenever they stretched two or three consecutive points together. Despite the Anteaters building a 13-9 lead, the Aggies managed to tie the game at 18 points.
After a couple more rounds of trading points, freshman setter Taryn Robertson finally broke Irvine’s serving curse and forced Davis to call a timeout once the Anteaters were up 23-20. The timeout proved ineffective for the Aggies as UC Davis did not score another point until the Anteaters built an insurmountable 27-20 lead. The game ended when Davis hit the ball out of bounds to give Irvine a solid 30-24 win.
The ladies of UCI came out blazing in the second half of the match and had their first five points before the Aggies got on the scoreboard. Davis made an attempt to compete for a few points mid-game until Robertson delivered another series of solid serves that her teammates utilized to boost their lead from 10-6 to 13-6.
White also got back in the game despite her ankle injury. ‘The swelling is still really, really bad,’ White said. ‘The pain is incredible. I took six ibuprofen, but I’m glad I went back in.’
The Anteaters pulled way ahead to gain a double-digit lead at 20-10 and won the third game with a final score of 30-19.
It looked liked the Aggies were going to be causing problems at the start of the fourth game, taking advantage of Irvine’s opening short serve and building to a 5-3 lead.
But whatever mystical power Robertson was wielding to cause events to shift in favor of the Anteaters while she served resurfaced. Under her blanket of serving protection, Irvine managed to get up 7-5 before Davis got the ball to land in their favor.
Robertson did not acknowledge any magical serving powers but simply said that she ‘had to stick to the game plan.’
The Aggies managed to tie the game up at seven points apiece, but then junior middle blocker Kristin Kelley served her team into a scoring frenzy that would put the Anteaters up 13-7 before Davis could do anything about it.
For the rest of the game, Irvine was in the lead, and the closest the Aggies got to getting back in the game was when they brought the score to 18-16. The match officially ended when a short serve by Davis gave UCI a 30-23 fourth game victory.
Throughout the match, outside hitters Lauren Kellerman and McCall Miller, sophomore and freshman respectively, enjoyed trading kills on Davis.
‘We really came together as a team well,’ Kellerman said.
‘We couldn’t have won without the passing, without the setting, without the hitting and without the blocking,’ Miller added.
The victory snapped a four-game losing streak for the women’s team, who had lost seven of their past eight games before their match-up with the Aggies.
The Anteaters’ overall record now stands at 5-13 with an 0-3 record in the Big West Conference.
Even with the slow start to the game, the lady Anteaters showed that they have the ability to overcome early deficits and pull off tough wins
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