UCR has played 23 games thus far, only recording two wins. Friday night’s home loss to UC Davis was no different in the somber narrative of the team’s rough 2014 season. The Highlanders were competitive, but couldn’t convert key points when it counted.
Plagued by attack errors, the Highlanders found themselves down early in the first set as UC Davis opened an early 14-6 lead. UCR then generated some offense, winning seven of the next nine points. Sophomore Cristina Maietta smashed three kills during the run while Alex Gresham chipped in two as the Highlanders cut the advantage to two, 16-14.
The Aggies, who have won three straight conference games, responded by winning nine of the last 11 points en route to a 25-16 first-set win. Both teams recorded a positive kill-to-error ratio, but UC Davis was far more efficient with an attacking percentage of .207 compared to UCR’s .059.
The home team managed to tie the game twice in the early going of the second set at 3-3 and 5-5. The Aggies and Highlanders traded points until the Aggies started to pull away. Kaylin Squyres, who is the reigning Big West Conference Player of the Week, rocketed three kills to extend UCD’s lead from 11-9 to 17-11. UC Riverside cut the lead to five at 19-14, but another kill from Squyres sealed the second set for the Aggies, 25-16.
Led by Ashley Cox, the Highlanders opened the third set in the lead, 12-10. The lead was short-lived, however, as the Aggies tied the game three times through 15-15. UC Davis used its height to tally several team blocks and take the lead, 23-17. UCR responded by cutting the deficit to one, 23-22. Two Squyres kills, however, dashed UCR’s hopes of mounting a comeback as UC Davis won the third and final set, 25-22.
Cox led the Highlanders with 11 kills. Gresham added eight while Maietta tallied seven. Squyres had 14 kills for the Aggies.
The Highlanders play next at UC Irvine on Thursday, Nov. 13.