While UC Davis beach volleyball didn’t get a sunny sky for the team’s home opener last Saturday (March 7), a large, supportive crowd more than made up for the drizzly day — and you’ll have a chance to see the team play in the sun on Wednesday (or so says the weather forecast).
Spectators for last weekend’s match — a mix of parents and students from both schools — filtered into the UC Davis Beach Volleyball Facility at Howard Field as the Aggies and the San Jose State Spartans warmed up to a lively playlist of country and pop music.
Mary Andrade of Hollister was there supporting her daughter, Nicole Andrade, a second-year student-athlete playing for the Aggies. Andrade said she thinks the team has “a great following” and anticipates a “great crowd that will be bigger when the weather warms up.”
At 10 a.m., the “duels” began with two matches going on at the same time. The duels were fast-paced and exciting; as they continued, the crowd got more and more hyped up, cheering loudly for every point scored by the Aggies. During the third and final duel between the UC Davis duo of Isabel Bassi and Bailey Herdman and the San Jose State pairing of Latehevai Lousi and Summer Vercruyseen, the two teams lined up right beside the court to cheer them on.
Gunrock made an appearance, mingling with both the crowd and the players watching the matches — and the final score made the UC Davis side forget all about the rain: UC Davis 3, San Jose State 2. The Ags improved to 3-3 on the season.
This is beach volleyball’s second year as part of UC Davis’ Division I sports program. It was added along with equestrian starting in the 2018-19 season.
Led by head coach Ali McColloch, the Aggie beach volleyball team of 19 competes in the Big West Conference alongside California State University, Bakersfield; California State University, Northridge; Cal Poly San Luis Obispo; University of Hawaii, Long Beach State; and Sacramento State; and nonconference schools.
The Aggies have more home matches scheduled this Wednesday and Saturday, and that will be it until the Big West Conference Tournament is held here April 17-19.
Here’s the schedule for this week:
- Wednesday, March 11 — Two matches, at 11 a.m. vs. Stephen F. Austin State University; and 2 p.m. vs. the University of Arizona. The Weather Channel predicts a sunny sky and a high temperature of 72 degrees.
- Saturday, March 14 — 2 p.m. vs. the University of San Francisco. Forecast: 30 percent chain of rain.