Tigers Say Goodbye To Their Seniors And The Big West

2012 Pacific Seniors - Photo by: Gary Jones
2012 Pacific Seniors - Photo by: Gary Jones

Stockton, Calif. - For the final time in their storied history the Pacific women's volleyball team played a Big West match as the Tigers fell in four to UC Davis on Saturday, November 24. The loss for the Tigers ended their season at 20-11 overall and 8-10 in the Big West while the Aggies finished 2012 at 17-14 on the year and 11-7 in conference play.

Set scores for the match were: 25-23, 25-14, 20-25, 25-15.

Playing in the Big West since its inception in 1984 when it was still the PCAA, the Tigers posted an overall conference mark of 347-135 (.720) while winning four conference titles and a pair of national championships. For Pacific, the match against the Aggies was their final match in the Big West as the Tigers will transition to the West Coast Conference in 2013 where they will take on the likes of San Diego, BYU and Pepperdine.

In addition to the Tigers saying goodbye to the Big West, Pacific also said goodbye to a trio of seniors as Hannah Clancy, Gabby Cowden and Koala Matsuoka each played their final collegiate match on Saturday night. Playing for the final time in front of her home fans, Clancy posted her team-best 21st of the year and 53rd career double-double with 37 assists and 12 digs. She also added four kills and two blocks to finish her career. Behind Clancy, Matsuoka posted 12 digs and five assists while Cowden finished her night with four kills, two aces, four digs and one blocks.

Overall, the night was not to be for the Tigers as the Aggies took control of the match from the outset and ran away with their fourth-straight win over Pacific. In the opening set of the night, the Aggies used an 11-1 run midway through the set to put Pacific in a hole it would not be able to climb out of. Despite rally to within two at the end of the first set, the Tigers were unable to parlay the momentum into anything substantial in the second set as the Aggies used a 6-0 run early to take control and never look back.

For Pacific, the only success of the night came in the third set as the Tigers turned the tables on the Aggies by jumping out to an early lead and holding off a late rally. Leading 13-11, the Tigers rolled off seven-consecutive points to break open the set and take their first set victory of the night. However, Pacific's excitement would be shortlived as the Aggies again jumped out to a big early lead behind a 5-0 run at 6-6 to put the Tigers behind for good.

Overall, the Tigers were led by junior Jennifer Sanders offensively as she poted a match-high 14 kills on 35 attacks while adding three digs and one block. Just behind Sanders, junior Megan Birch posted 11 kills on 29 attacks while sophomore Gillian Howard finished her night with seven kills and a team best six blocks.

For the Aggies, Allison Whitson, in her final collegiate match, posted 12 kills while posting seven digs and four blocks. Valerie Brain ended her night with a match-high 14 kills while Jenny Wollway ended with a double-double after posting 42 assists and 10 digs.