October 28, 2011

UC Davis Narrowly Defeats UCSB

DAVIS, Calif. - Despite four players recording double figures in kills, including a career-high from All-American Stacey Schmidt, the UC Santa Barbara women's volleyball team lost a close and hard-fought match on Friday night to UC Davis.

After winning the first set 25-20, the Gauchos dropped the three subsequent sets 27-25, 25-23, 31-29, dropping to 12-11 overall and 5-5 in the Big West.

The Aggies, who had to beat UCSB in the closest way possible in all three sets, improved to 19-6 overall and 5-5 in conference.

Schmidt had a career-high 24 kills for the Gauchos, who hit .220 for the match, as the senior from Huntington Beach, Calif. hit .417 for the night.

Leah Sully continued her impressive sophomore campaign with 16 kills and 20 digs while Kara Sherrard also had a double-double with 15 kills and 13 digs. Lily Lopez added 10 kills for UCSB.

The attractive box score didn't end there for Santa Barbara as freshman setter Hanna Nielson doled out 63 assists, ranking her in the top-five in school history in the category during rally-scoring rules.

However, UC Davis was just a little bit better. The Aggies hit .238 and had nearly twice as many team blocks as UCSB did (13.0 to 7.0). UCD also had a little fortune on its side.

Tied 25-apiece in the second set, a kill from Betsy Sedlak (13 kills) and a hitting error by Lopez gave UCD the game, tying things at 1-1.

In the second set, Sully was set three consecutive times but managed to put just one away as UCSB couldn't rally from the 23-22 deficit.

Finally, after a Sherrard kill on match point gave the Gauchos new life, a Valerie Brain putaway and a Schmidt hitting error allowed the Aggies to sneak away with the closest win imaginable.

The Gauchos will finish off their Northern California road trip with a match vs. Pacific on Saturday at 7:00 pm before returning to the Thunderdome on Nov. 4. Be sure to catch all women's volleyball games at home by clicking here.

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