On Saturday evening at Crawford Court, the UC Davis Aggies swept the ’Eaters in three sets (25-23, 25-21, 25-20), bringing UC Irvine to an 8-11 overall record while 3-3 in league.
Junior Aly Squires led the team with 11 kills, trailed closely by freshman Sydney Wright who added 10. Senior Kristin Winkler totaled 14 digs and red-shirt freshman Ella Rosenfeld led UCI with seven block assists. Despite overpowering the Aggies at the net with 20 block assists to Davis’ eight, the ’Eaters struggled to win a game.
While Davis mounted a 4-1 run in the first frame, the ’Eaters closed the gap at 14-12, but at 16-13 the Aggies pulled away once again for a 19-13 advantage. Determined to come out ahead, Irvine tied it at 22 all on a kill from newcomer Wright, but the ’Eaters were unable to capitalize on the tie while Davis nipped the chance for an ’Eater run and tied it 23-23. After back-to-back plays, the Aggies took the first set.
Another early rally gave the Aggies an 8-5 lead in the second game, but the ’Eaters hung on tight as they came within one at 17-16. After an Irvine error, Davis delivered two kills before pulling away and taking another frame along with the 2-0 advantage over the home team, going into the third set.
In what would prove to be the final game of the sweep, the ’Eaters trailed early at 9-5. Fighting to a 12-12 standstill after a 6-1 Irvine run, the Aggies did not fail to regain the lead and answered with their own 5-1 run for a 17-13 four-point advantage. While the ’Eaters got within three at 22-19, the Aggies proved that three games were just enough to sit the ’Eaters down for a 25-20 end and the victory.
Saturday night’s match marked back-to-back losses for the ’Eaters, who now stand at sixth place in the Big West behind (7-0) Hawaii, (4-2) Long Beach State, (3-2) Pacific, (3-2) UC Davis and (4-3) Pacific. The ’Eaters will travel to Cal State Fullerton on Thursday, October 11 and to UC Riverside on October 12.
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