The UC Santa Barbara Women’s Volleyball team (20-2) returns to The Thunderdome for the midway point of the season as they take on the Matadors of CSUN. The Gauchos needed just three sets to secure their 11th straight victory over the Matadors (25-15, 27-25, 25-16), who now have a 20-2 overall record and a 10 -0 record in Big West play.
FROM HEAD COACH MATT JONES
“This is the second game in a row where we have to be without Andi Kreiling and Farmer Tasia. Milan Rex played well for us by putting up a solid block and making smart choices on offense. Sandy did a great job defending the block. Everyone did what they normally do and executed well. During the second set, CSUN served well and made it a game, but I’m proud of our team for grinding it out. Hopefully, we can be healthy next week and see where it goes from here. ”
HOW IT HAPPENED
It took a few points for the Gauchos to gain momentum, but once they did, the Matadors couldn’t stop them. Each Gaucho managed a service run as UC Santa Barbara hit at a .343 clip compared to the Matadors who hit at a .050 clip. This type of efficiency was the reason why the Gauchos won the first set, 25-15.
The Gauchos started the second set on top, taking a three-point lead early on. However, CSUN is ready to fight. The visitors tied the game at 15 before taking the lead, going up by three. That didn’t stop the Gauchos. UC Santa Barbara and CSUN exchanged the lead several times, resulting in this set going to extra points. Despite the efforts of the Matadors, they could not stop the Gauchos as the home team won the second set, 27-25.
UC Santa Barbara didn’t stop there. A nine-point service run Briana McKnight He gave his team the cushion they needed to take this third and final set as the Gauchos defeated the Matadors, 25-16 and the Gauchos secured their ninth sweep of the season.
LOOKING AT THE NUMBERS
- Michelle Ohwobete had the best offensive night as the only Gaucho to post double-digit kills. She contributed 14 kills while adding seven digs and two blocks.
- Both Gauchos ended the night with double-digit digs, and they Macall Peed and McKnight. Peed led the team with 11 digs while McKnight tied with 10 digs. To go with all that, McKnight led the team in aces with two.
- The two Grace McIntosh and Michelle Zhao set up the hitters tonight for the Gauchos. These two setters each contributed 14 assists en route to a .298 hitting percentage for the Gauchos.
- Blockers in the middle Grace Wuischpard and Sandy Tomas essential to the team’s front-row defense. Wuischpard leads the team in blocks with six while Thomas is close behind with three.
- Milan Rex also hit well for the Gauchos. She has four kills in five attempts to hit at a .800 clip.
The Gauchos will hit the road this week as they take on the UC Irvine Anteaters and the Cal State Fullerton Titans. UC Santa Barbara takes on the Anteaters at the Bren Center on Friday at 6 p.m. before heading to Fullerton on Saturday for a 4 p.m. first serve. Both games will be televised on ESPN+.