Volleyball Goes 1-1 at Home

Sophia Chang/New University

UCI 3, UCD 1

On Friday night the Lady Anteaters defeated the UC Davis Aggies in four sets at Crawford Court. Sophomore outside hitter Shaina Olsen set a personal record with 19 kills to give the ’Eaters the edge over Davis.

In the first set, the two squads traded points to a standstill at 9-9, when Davis took a narrow lead at 15-12. The Aggies would further the gap at 18-14, but a six-point scoring streak by the ’Eaters tied it at 18 all.  After trading points to an even score of 21-21, Davis took the lead when an Irvine hit went wide for 22-21.  The ’Eaters were unable to put another point on the board, and Davis took the first set 25-21.

Irvine led the second set at 5-1, but after a Davis time out, the Aggies mounted a five-point streak to take the lead at 6-5. Neither team was able to hold onto a significant lead. The two teams traded points to a 15-15 tie. It was Irvine that would distance themselves from the Aggies when back-to-back kills by junior Taylor Smith and sophomore Aly Squires gave the ’Eaters a 4-point advantage at 20-16. UCI reached match-point on a bad hit from the Aggies at 24-17, but Davis was able to put two more points on the board to make it 24-19. Taking the second set with a kill, Squires shut the Aggies down at 25-19.

The third set opened with a 5-5 standstill, but the ’Eaters broke away with an eight-point lead at 17-9, prompting a time out from Davis. Followed by two Aggie errors and a kill from Squires, UCI continued to widen the gap at 20-9. The ’Eaters reached match-point on a hit from sophomore Shannon Fleming, and Shaina Olsen would secure the set with a kill at 25-13.

The fourth set was fair game to either team as the score stood at 11-11. Both teams continued to put points on the board, but no substantial leads took place when the teams reached another tie at 20-20.

Irvine had a two-point advantage at 22-20 with a solo block from senior Alex Hauser, but Davis would tie it once again at 22-22. After a Davis time out at 23-23, Irvine reached match-point, but Davis would make it even at 24-24. When Irvine trailed at 27-28, a key kill from Fleming kept the ‘Eaters in the game and brought the score to 28-28. An error from the Aggies gave Irvine the lead at 29-28, and a kill from Squires would give the ’Eaters the set and the victory over Davis.

The ’Eaters totaled 56 kills in their face-off with Davis. Head coach Paula Weishoff notes that aggression was a key element in the win. “We’ve been working hard all week, [and] working on what we need to work on — to be aggressive, to hit it harder,” said Weishoff. “It doesn’t matter if you win or lose. When you compete like that, you give yourself chances and good matches.”

Standout Shaina Olsen adds that their practices have helped them become more aggressive.

“Our practices have all been about putting the ball down.  Getting swings, getting the points on our side, [and] it definitely carried over in this game,” said Olsen. “We were taking aggressive swings and weren’t afraid to error.  I think that’s what won us that game.”

Shaina also notes that the victory was a team effort and together they focused on each point, not looking too far ahead in the match.

Pacific 3, UCI 0

UC Irvine was swept by the University of Pacific, 3-0, on Oct. 22. Libero Kristin Winkler led the ’Eaters with 22 digs, while Shaina Olsen and Aly Squires had nine kills apiece. UCI is now 3-6 in the Big West and 8-12 overall.

The Tigers made quick work of the Anteaters in the first set.  They jumped out to a 13-8. However, UCI’s Shannon Fleming connected with Olsen to put an end to a three-point rally from Pacific’s Samantha Misa. The Tigers answered with another three-point rally to push the score to 17-10. Pacific finished the set with a service ace, going up 1-0 with a 25-14 first set victory.

Pacific took a 10-7 lead in the second set, but UCI managed to narrow the margin to one, at 12-11, after Olsen buried a kill. Pacific then rallied off five straight points  to extend their lead to 17-11. After a series of kills, the Tigers lead 23-15. Gabby Cowden of Pacific put the Tigers up two games to none, providing the clinching kill in the second set at  25-18.

UCI managed to keep the third set competitive as they started with a 12-9 lead. Pauline Acres and Squires and Olsen stepped up, Acres and Squires with kills, and Olsen with a service ace. The Tigers roared back with three straight points, tying the set. After Pacific pulled to a 17-15 lead, UCI strung five consecutive points together and led, 20-17. Pacific responded back with another rally to tie the game at 22 apiece.

UCI finally faltered after the set was knotted at 23, dropping the final two points and losing the final set, 25-23. The loss marked the seventh time that the Anteaters have been swept in 2011, dropping to 8-12 overall.