Davidson Volleyball to Close Out Non-Conference Play at Wake Forest, UNC
DAVIDSON, N.C. — The Davidson Wildcats will close out their non-conference season this weekend, with one final tuneup before starting Atlantic 10 play, by taking on ACC foes Wake Forest and UNC on Friday and Saturday, respectively. The ‘Cats will meet the Demon Deacons on Friday night at 7 p.m., before a 4 p.m. first serve on Saturday with the Tar Heels. Live stats will be available for both matches, while Davidson’s meeting with Chapel Hill will be aired live on ACC Network Extra.
WHAT YOU’VE MISSED
Entering week four of the 2021 fall season, the Wildcats stand at 4-4 overall with wins over UNC Asheville, Western Carolina, Georgia State and Campbell. As a team, the ‘Cats are attacking at a .185 clip, which ranks fourth among the Atlantic 10. Across other league rankings, Davidson is second in assists per set (11.77), second in kills per set (12.83) and first in digs (17.46).
“I’m encouraged by how the non-conference season has gone,” said head coach Chris Willis. “Everyone has contributed to our success and development on the court. We’ve learned a lot and had success in the win/loss column, which is a great recipe for future success. I’m looking forward to testing ourselves against two quality ACC opponents before heading into A10 play this weekend and I know they will challenge us with some high level physicality and I’m excited to see our women respond.”
LET’S TALK ABOUT IT
Through all three weeks of the season the Wildcats have earned at least one Atlantic 10 Player of the Week honor, while sophomore libero Bella Brady has been the league’s Defensive Player of the Week for three straight weeks. Brady, who leads the conference in total digs (192) and digs per set (5.49) has become a force within Davidson’s back line as she already has 408 career digs through just 21 total matches. Outside hitters Hattie Rodriguez and Isabel Decker have also tabbed weekly honors, with Rodriguez earning the league’s Player of the Week in week one and Decker earned the Rookie of the Week title after week two. Rodriguez, a senior from Charlotte, ranks third in the A-10 in total kills (133) and averages 3.80 kills per set this season with 756 career kills. Decker, a freshman out of Illinois, has recorded four double-doubles already this season while reaching career-highs in kills (17) and digs (17). The rookie has also found her way into the Wildcats’ starting lineup, averaging 2.43 kills per set currently.
ALL-TIME CHECK IN
The Demon Deacons hold the all-time advantage over Davidson, with Wake Forest leading the series 7-2, which dates back to 1996. Davidson and the Deacs have not met since 2016, when the ‘Cats won 3-1 in Winston-Salem. UNC holds the all-time series at an 8-0 advantage, as the ‘Cats will look to down the Tar Heels for the first time in program history, in the teams’ first meeting since 2008.
SET IT UP
Behind Davidson’s league-leading offense are setters Xuan Nguyen and Jessie Doyal. As a duo, the two have dished 363 assists with Nguyen leading the team with 185 and Doyal right behind with 178 of her own. Brady has stood in as a steady secondary option, with 36 assists, while Doyal has picked up 64 digs on the year and Nguyen has 49.