Gauchos Rally Late But Cannot Overcome Titans

Gauchos Rally Late But Cannot Overcome Titans

FULLERTON, Calif. - Cal State Fullerton outlasted UC Santa Barbara on Saturday night, defeating the Gauchos in five sets despite more great games from Leah Sully, Stacey Schmidt and Lily Lopez.

The Gauchos, fresh off a five-set victory over No. 21 Long Beach State on Friday night, were not able to continue their momentum in the 25-15, 12-25, 13-25, 26-24, 10-15 loss. Cal State Fullerton, an NCAA Tournament team last year, improves to 7-7 and 2-0 in the Big West. UCSB falls to 8-6 overall and 1-1 in the conference.

The loss was just UCSB's second defeat in its past nine matches.

Santa Barbara had a season-best 94 digs as a team - better than any match from last season - as Chelsey Lowe and Sully each had career-highs in the category. Lowe had a personal best 33 digs while Sully also set a new career-high with 23.

Lowe's 33 digs pushed her over the 1,000 mark as a Gaucho.

Sully also had 10 kills as one of just three Gauchos with double figures in that department. Stacey Schmidt had 11 putaways while Lopez added 10.

UCSB, which hit just .070 as a team, committed 30 hitting errors. CSUF, meanwhile, hit only .139, but it was enough.

The Gauchos' defense, a stalwart all year, added to its reputation with 13.0 team blocks as Lopez, Kara Sherrard and Jenna Wilson all had solo blocks. Lopez had a team-best five block assists and Schmidt and Sherrard each had three.

Setter Hanna Nielson had 35 assists for the Gauchos.

In the fifth set, UCSB led 6-3 after a pair of CSUF attack errors. Yet, after a timeout, the Titans went on a 4-0 run to take a 7-6 lead.

Tied at 9-9, a hitting error from Schmidt gave CSUF its final lead. The Titans got three kills from Kayla Neto (18 kills, 30 digs) and two hitting errors from Santa Barbara down the stretch to take the win.

UCSB will open its home schedule with a Friday, Sept. 30 match vs. Pacific at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available by clicking here or calling (805) 893-UCSB.