September 9, 2011

UCSB Finishes Santa Clara in Four

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – With career win No. 850 in her back pocket after an early morning sweep, Kathy Gregory set about getting to win No. 900 in no time.

After sweeping North Dakota on Friday morning, UC Santa Barbara kept rolling with a 22-25, 25-13, 25-21, 25-22 win over the host Broncos in the Santa Clara Tournament.

Kara Sherrard had 17 kills, four digs, a solo block and two block assists while Stacey Schmidt added 12 kills, seven digs and five block assists as UCSB improved to 4-4 on the year.

As a team the Gauchos tallied 14.0 team blocks as Jenna Wilson added a solo block and four block assists and Lily Lopez had eight block assists.

It was another great defensive effort for Santa Barbara. After holding North Dakota to a -.054 hitting percentage in the morning match, the Gauchos limited Santa Clara to a mere .131 swinging percentage in the nightcap.

After blistering Santa Clara in the second set, UCSB needed to work a little to win the third set. The Gauchos trailed 6-3 before kills by Leah Sully, Sherrard and Schmidt helped them take a 7-6 lead. The teams traded points and were locked at 12-12 when Sherrard had a pair of kills, Schmidt added another and the Gauchos didn't trail the rest of the set.

In the fourth set UCSB trailed 7-2 early on before rattling off nine of the next 15 points to tie things at 11-11. Santa Clara then took a 21-17 lead and it appeared the match was going to five sets.

However, Lily Lopez got a kill then six straight hitting errors from Santa Clara gave the Gauchos a 24-21 lead before Lopez's kill finished things off. The senior middle blocker finished with nine kills.

Leah Sully added six kills, seven digs and four service aces while Chelsey Lowe had 22 digs.

Santa Barbara finishes the tournament looking to win all three matches when they battle San Jose State on Saturday evening.

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