Sunday, March 1, 2015

Aggies are off to a spike-tacular start

From page B1 | September 12, 2011 |

UCD's Betsy Sedlak (15), shown here during a match last season, has been one of the catalysts of the Aggies hot start in 2011. The senior team captain is among the UCD leaders in blocks and digs. Wayne Tilcock/Enterprise file photo

The UC Davis women’s volleyball team got some big news on Monday: For the first time in program history, the Aggies received votes in the AVCA Division I Top 25 poll.

And they didn’t get those 10 votes for nothing.

UCD has torn out of the gates to start the 2011 campaign, winning 10 of its first 11 matches and taking a troika of tournament titles home with wins at the Northern Colorado Classic, the Park Inn Hurricane Invitational and last weekend’s Pioneer Classic.

Amidst their hot start, the Aggies have taken down two teams that recently received votes for the Top 25 poll themselves, including Tulsa, which was ranked 23rd in one preseason poll. UCD upset the other, Missouri, on Saturday in Denver.

Before the win over Tulsa, the Aggies hadn’t bested a ranked team or one receiving votes since 2009, when they took out UC Irvine at home.

Senior captain Betsy Sedlak believes the success the program has realized over the past few seasons, especially after years of futility, is a reflection of the job fourth-year head coach Jamie Holmes has done.

“I think she’s done some amazing things turning this program into what it has become, and just getting all the players to the same level as her,” Sedlak said.

Holmes, on the other hand, attributes the early success to a comprehensive team effort.

“This team is tremendously mature; the seniors and the juniors and really everybody that’s in the program, have bought into what they wanted to accomplish,” Holmes said.

Before the Hurricane Invitational, the team selected Sedlak and sophomore setter Jenny Woolway to serve as the two co-captains this year.

Sedlak is one of the team leaders in blocks and digs but, according to Holmes, her value as a captain comes from more than just what she does on the court.

“Just in terms of her leadership, I tell you what, the kid teaches me things on a daily basis,” Holmes said. “She’s just a solid person, a solid character, she works tremendously hard.”

Woolway may not be one of the more physically gifted athletes on the court, but that doesn’t stop her from putting up big numbers as well.

“She just takes the shackles off and just plays,” Holmes said. “She’s the No. 1 digging center in our conference and she’s No. 2 in assists per set.”

The team lost two key players from last season, including opposite hitter Melanie Adams — who led the team in kills — and Kayla Varney, one of the best diggers in Aggie history.

But Holmes contends they have found the right combination of young players to replace the two veterans, including Devon Damelio — who has 97 kills, good for second on the squad so far this season — and redshirt freshman Valerie Brain, who has contributed 85 kills.

“(Damelio is) a strong stabilizer in our lineup,” Holmes said. “Her perfect pass percentage is the highest on the team and really that’s one reason why she has solidified that position. She’s really been hitting the ball hard.”

The Aggies young and old will be back on the court Tuesday (7 p.m.) for the Causeway Classic matchup at Sacramento State. UCD will be looking for revenge, as last season the Hornets edged the Aggies in a close match.

“We definitely want to go into every match with the same mentality, but everyone knows Sac State is a big one for sure,” Sedlak said. “The last two years against them have been a big battle. We’ve gone to five (games) both times, so we’re looking forward to it.”

Following the match with Sac State, the Aggies will have three consecutive home matches when they host the annual Aggie Invitational this weekend at Hickey Gym. UCD plays Hofstra on Friday at 7 p.m., and faces Air Force and Seattle on Saturday.

The Aggies won their home event last year and Sedlak was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.



Tom Sakash

Tom Sakash covers the city beat for The Davis Enterprise. Reach him at [email protected], (530) 747-8057 or @TomSakash.
  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .


    Sheriff: Mother ‘sole person responsible’ for infant’s death

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Rifle Team has a blast with competitive shooting

    By Savannah Holmes | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Child abduction case in jury’s hands

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1

    Pipeline project will soften water in 2016

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

    Pig out at Farmers Market’s Pig Day

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1

    Christie to Republicans: No rush to pick 2016 nominee

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Bob Dunning: Colon prep can be hard to swallow

    By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2

    Scouts help fill STEAC’s pantry

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

    Weekend storm drops snow, rain, hail in California

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    City offers wetlands tour

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Parole denied in 1987 killing spree

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Explore Asia at Arboretum storytime

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    MU Games closing in late March

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

    Still no parole in toddler case

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    UCD student with meningococcal disease is recovering

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Young patients bond with special stuffies

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    Diversity theater group continues creativity workshops

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Radio talk show moves to Mondays

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Assault awareness campaign kicks off

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

    UCD student panel to cover anti-Semitism, Islamophobia

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    Yolo Food Bank hosts thank-you breakfast on Pig Day

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9



    Milt Priggee cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: B4

    Rowing: PE as well as life skills

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

    Police complaint procedures drafted

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

    Clarifying energy update letter

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

    Weekly claw pickup necessary

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

    Mars or ISIS? Similar outcome

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

    City may get charged up over energy choices

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

    Speak out

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B5

    Design innovation centers for the 21st century

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

    A new perspective on life

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: A7

    Distant water crisis has lessons for Davis

    By Marion Franck | From Page: A7

    Call for study to settle if anesthesia poses risk to babies

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7



    Aggie men get a bounce-back win at Cal Poly

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    The mystery continues: lowly Gauchos upset UCD women

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Devils get a soccer win despite finishing woes

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Winning close games is the key for DHS softballers

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Sports briefs: Razo throws well as Aggies get a baseball win

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Defending champion Blue Devils have diamond holes to fill

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B3 | Gallery

    Republic FC falls to storied New York Cosmos

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B10







    Yolo Federal Credit Union honored for supporting business education

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

    Online store will celebrate, mock People’s Republic of Davis

    By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A10 | Gallery





    Comics: Sunday, March 1, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B8