Important Weekend Test Faces Gauchos

Important Weekend Test Faces Gauchos

• The Schedule
Friday, October 21, 2011 at 7:30 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. Cal State Fullerton (9-10, 4-3)
at UCSB's Thunderdome (6,000)
Series record vs. the Titans – 55-7
Streak – Lost 3
Last time out vs. the Titans – L, 3-2 (9/24/11)

Saturday, October 22, 2011 at 7:30 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. Long Beach State (12-6, 6-2)
at UCSB's Thunderdome (6,000)
Series record vs. the 49ers – 36-58
Streak – Won 1
Last time out vs. the 49ers – W, 3-2 (9/23/11)

• Cinco de Stinko
UC Santa Barbara last four defeats have all come in five games, which is a first in program history.

• Lopez Leads League
Over her last 11 matches, senior Lily Lopez has been a force offensively and defensively. The middle blocker is hitting .373 (115-22-249) with an average of 10.45 kills per match and 3.36 total blocks per match (nine solo, 28 assisted). On the season the Santa Ana, Calif. native is hitting a league-best .345 (72nd in the nation) with 2.16 kills per set and 0.84 blocks per set. In conference matches she is hitting .369 (second in the Big West) with 2.44 kills per set and 0.69 blocks per set.

• Century Club
Senior libero Chelsey Lowe has accumulated 1,181 digs in her Gaucho career (she transferred from USF prior to the 2009 season).  The Yorba Linda, Calif. native is averaging 5.21 digs per set, which leads the Big West and ranks her 29th in the country. She has had at least 20 digs in 13 of the Gauchos' 20 matches and also leads the Big West in digs during conference play (5.38). Lowe has a chance to break into UCSB's career top-10 by season's end. Currently, Liz Towne (1985-88) ranks 10th with 1,256 career digs.

• Double Dipper
In 15 of the Gauchos' 20 matches this season – this coming after she missed all of last year due to a torn ACL – Leah Sully has recorded a double-double, including in 10 of her last 11 matches. On the season the sophomore from Irvine, Calif. is averaging 2.88 kills and 3.62 digs per set – both ranking second on the team. Sully is also fifth in the conference with her 0.32 ace per set average.

• They Can Dig It
As a team UCSB is averaging 17.00 digs per set, which ranks the Gauchos second in the Big West and 35th nationally in the stat. Chelsey Lowe and Leah Sully each rank in the top-10 in the Big West in digs, one of just two sets of teammates to do so.

• About Schmidt
All-American Stacey Schmidt is among the best in the conference and on the Gauchos in several offensive categories. She ranks in the top-10 in the Big West in hitting percentage (.292, eighth) and service aces (0.30, fourth) and paces the team in kills (2.88 per set) and is second on the squad in blocks (0.90).

• Killin' Kara
In Big West play, sophomore Kara Sherrard leads UCSB with her 2.94 kills per set and is third with her 3.16 digs per set. The outside hitter had a pair of double-doubles last week and now has tallied eight on the season – and six in a row. Sherrard, who hails from Lancaster, Calif., has reached double digit kills in 11 matches this season, including six straight.

• Helping Hands
Over her last 12 matches freshman setter Hanna Nielson is averaging 43.3 assists per match and has passed out at least 35 assists in 10 of those matches and at least 50 in five during that span. The Saratoga, Calif. native's 10.1 assists per set on the season is 92nd in the nation.

• Smoking Aces
As a team the Gauchos are averaging 1.22 service aces per set, which ties them for first with Cal State Northridge in the conference.

• Low Blows
Despite having both Lily Lopez and Stacey Schmidt rank in the Big West's top-10 in hitting percentage, the Gauchos are swinging a collective .185, which ranks them fifth amongst the nine conference teams. UCSB is holding its opponents to a .182 hitting percentage.

• Hitting the Skids
UCSB has dropped its past three matches to Cal State Fullerton, which is the team's longest current losing skid vs. a conference opponent.