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Wildcats can’t block weekend win from Davis

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Published 2004-03-03T00:00:00Z”/>


Will Clark<br>Staff Writer

In a game where height means everything, the Chico State men’s volleyball team came up short against University of California, Davis on Saturday night in Shurmer Gym.

UC Davis defeated Chico 3-0 in a 45-minute match-up, winning 25-14, 25-16 and 25-21.

Height was a factor as UC Davis crowded the net sending spike after spike into the Wildcats’ court. The Aggies jumped higher and hit harder on most points.

UC Davis plowed through the first two games with little resistance, but Chico made them sweat out the third.

Early in the third game, the Aggies thought the ball had touched the floor to end the play, but the referee ruled it didn’t. While UC Davis celebrated its would-be point, Chico quickly bumped, set and spiked the ball for a score on the distracted visitors. The Wildcats established an early 4-1 lead but it was their last, and the Aggies recovered to win the final game.

Despite being swept, several Wildcats agreed that this was one of Chico’s best performances.

Chico’s Jason Cardoso said the Wildcats have been trying new formations. He said the team is young and has some building to do. Sophomore David Mooers is one of Chico’s key young players.

At 6 feet 5 inches tall, Mooers is Chico’s tallest player, and on Saturday his big skills matched his height. Mooers played well near the net, recording several blocks in the match.

“There’s really no part of the game you can beat them in,” Mooers said. “They always have several more tall guys on the bench. Last year, they were ranked No. 2 in the nation.”

UC Davis’ Brian Prowd played for the Aggies last year when the team finished second in the nation. He said he noticed that Chico is improving.

“Chico needs a few more passers and they’re golden,” Prowd said. “Their center is money. Next year, they could be good.”

Cardoso, sitting out because of a dislocated finger, agreed with Prowd’s assessment. He said the team needs to work on passing and that it has been tough playing without a coach. The Wildcats had a coach last season, but the team is player-coaching this year. Cardoso acted as a temporary coach for Saturday’s game,.

Even with a Chico coach, UC Davis is a formidable opponent. The Aggies entered the weekend ranked No. 23 in the national recreational men’s volleyball Division I poll. Last time the Wildcats faced Davis the scores were much closer, but Chico lost the best-of-three series 25-23 and 26-24.

The Wildcats will hit the home court again on Friday against Sonoma State.

<em>Will Clark can be reached at <a href= ‘mailto:[email protected]’>[email protected]</a></em>

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        Wildcats can’t block weekend win from Davis