Sophomore opposite Valerie Brain hit 14 kills, and middle blockers Katie Quinn and Victoria Lee combined for a 17-1-32 attacking line and a .500 average as UC Davis women’s volleyball ended its 2012 season with a four-set, 25-23, 25-14, 20-25, 25-15 victory over Pacific at the Alex G. Spanos Center on Saturday night.
The Aggies finish the year at 17-14 overall and 11-7 in Big West Conference play. The Tigers wrap up at 20-11 for the year and 8-10 in league matches.
Brain committed just four errors on 35 swings to finish with a .286 hitting average. Allison Whitson added 12 kills with seven digs and four blocks for the Aggies, Caroline Mercado led all players with 15 digs and Kaitlyn Plum tallied 10 digs. The trio of UCD seniors each concluded their collegiate careers.
Lee hit an errorless 9-for-16 for the night and paced the defense with eight total blocks, while Quinn finished with eight kills and three service aces.
In addition, the Aggie program recently added a fourth member to its fall 2012 signing class, inking American River College’s Kaitlyn Christner, a former Golden West High standout.
Christner, a 6-foot-1 outside hitter, was a two-time all-state prep honoree before graduating in 2011. She played her freshman year at American River, where she won all-region, all-state and All-Big 8 Conference first-team recognition. She ranked third among California two-year college players with a 4.7 kills-per-set average, and hit .337 on 1,041 attacks. Christner also ranked among the state leaders with 55 aces, and her 441 kills led all state players.
The Aggie program signed four prospective student-athletes to national letters of intent during the fall signing period. Lauren Emge of San Anselmo, Hannah Harvey of Clovis, Sammy Preston of Huntington Beach and Carla Tocchini of Daly City are expected to enroll at UCD for the 2013 fall quarter.
“On some level you’re targeting specific needs, and another you’re just trying to get a good group that can cover a lot of different facets of the game. I think we did a really good job with this group,” said Aggie coach Jamey Wright. “We got some speed and counterattacking, we have some good presence in front of the goal and we have some good perimeter shooting. In total, it’s a solid group and I’m pretty excited about it.”
Emge, a 5-foot-9 center from Sir Francis Drake High, captured All-Marin County Athletic League honors as a junior and senior after picking up honorable mention as a sophomore. She added a league MVP nod this fall. Emge also was selected, and served as a team captain, for the Pacific Zone Senior All-Star squad last summer.
Harvey, who also stars as a swimmer for Clovis High, captured NISCA All-America second-team honors as a junior water polo player, an award that came by virtue of her Central Section MVP nod. She also was selected as Tri-River Athletic Conference Player of the Year last season, having scored 87 goals with 87 steals and 76 drawn exclusions.
Preston is the lone Southern Californian of the 2012 fall class, hailing from Huntington Beach High. She is a two-year team captain who earned first-team All-Sunset League as a sophomore and junior after garnering an All-Seaview League honorable mention as a freshman. Preston added a third-team All-Southern Section nod last spring as well.
Tocchini has earned four All-West Catholic Athletic League and three All-Central Coast Section awards in her four-year varsity career at St. Ignatius High. She posted goals totals of 35, 56, 77 and 87 from her freshman through her senior years, setting the program’s career scoring record.
William Brink has signed a national letter of intent to join the Aggies in the fall of 2013.
Brink concluded his junior season as Valley Oak League MVP after leading East Union High of Manteca to a second-place finish at the Sac-Joaquin Section championship tournament. As a sophomore in 2011, he finished second individually in the league standings, while earning all-conference first team accolades as a freshman in 2010.
“We’re very excited that Will chose UC Davis to come compete and earn his degree,” said UCD coach Cy Williams. “He’s a very talented young player that has the ability to become a four-year starter here. He is exactly the type of student-athlete we strive to have represent our program and university.”
In addition to his prep career, Brink was selected by the Junior Golf Association of Northern California to represent the North in the 2012 North/South California State Boys Championship and is a two-time recipient of East Union’s Scholar-Athlete Award, carrying a 3.86 grade-point average.
The Aggies have been honored with a team academic award from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. It’s the third consecutive year that UCD has been recognized by the organization for outstanding achievement in the classroom.
Maryclaire Robinson’s Aggies earned kudos for their team GPA of 3.05. The NSCAA sponsors several academic awards and UCD has been a regular on the team awards chart since 2010.
The Aggies recently completed the 2010 season with an 8-9-2 record, highlighted by a 5-3-1 home record.