Gauchos Set to Begin Big West Conference Play

Gauchos Set to Begin Big West Conference Play

• The Schedule

Friday, September 21, 2012 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara (7-7) at UC Irvine (5-8)
at Irvine's Bren Center
Series record vs. the Anteaters – 66-9
Streak – Won 6
Last time out vs. the Anteaters – W, 3-0 (11/4/11)

Saturday, September 22, 2012 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara (7-7) vs. Long Beach St. (5-6)
at Long Beach's Walter Pyramid
Series record vs. the 49ers – 36-59
Streak – Lost 1
Last time out vs. the 49ers – L, 3-1 (10/22/11)

• Gauchos on the Web
Women's volleyball fans can follow the action in a variety of ways this weekend. There will be live stats and a live video streaming feed of both of the UCSB matches. In addition,
there will be an audio feed available for the Long Beach St. matchup. Links to all of these
services can be found on the Women's Volleyball schedule page on

• The Week In Review
UCSB had a disappointing showing in the University of San Diego Tournament. The Gauchos
were able to top the Yale Bulldogs in four games on Friday, but were defeated twice
on Saturday- once by Fresno St. and once by USD. Leah Sully stood out for the Gauchos,
posting 38 digs and a team-high 49 kills over the weekend. Middle blocker Jenna Wilson
and opposite Katey Thompson combined for 42 kills and 44 blocks. Jaylen Villanueva,
who received the lion's share of playing time at setter, responded by recording 73 assists
on the weekend. With the 1-2 showing, UCSB's winning percentage fell to .500 for the
first time this year.

• Keep an Eye on Formico
With the beginning of conference play upon us, freshman libero Taylor Formico is primed
to write her name all over the UCSB record book. With less than half the season completed,
Taylor had already recorded four 30+ dig matches, tied with Kristin Nelson for the
UCSB single-season record in the rally-scoring era. She is currently on pace to finish with
740 digs, which would shatter the single-season UCSB digs record, set last year by Chelsey
Lowe (652). Taylor leads the Big West Conference in digs by a wide margin, tallying 80
more digs than the No. 2 dig-getter (UCI's Kristin Winkler) so far.

• Glad to Have You Back, Katey
Junior opposite Katey Thompson returned to full-time duty this past weekend after being
hindered by an injury that limited her to just two games during the University of New
Mexico Tournament. Katey burst back onto the scene in the USD Tournament, picking up
31 kills overall and setting a new career-high with nine block assists against Yale.

• Wilson Holding It Down
Junior middle blocker Jenna Wilson has really begun to pick up her game as of
late. After recording six or more blocks just twice over the team's first 11 matches,
Jenna has now recorded 6+ in three straight, including a career-high eight block
assists against Yale. Wilson is second in the conference in blocking, averaging 1.22
blocks per game while maintaining the highest block total (71) in the Big West.
Jenna's current pace will net her 167 blocks, the sixth most in single-season UCSB

• New Blood
For the second consecutive year, the Gauchos will be fielding a roster with seven
freshmen, tied with UC Riverside for the most first-year players in the Big West

•Don't Tread on Us
One reason the Gauchos have been able to stay competitive despite having the
third-worst hitting percentage in the conference has been their ability to limit
their opponents' hitting percentage as well. Thanks to having the top digger in the
conference (Formico), and the No. 2 blocker (Wilson), the Gauchos have limited
their opponents to a .165 hitting percentage, second-lowest in the conference.

• Serving Up A Storm
The Gauchos serving game has been a key area of strength so far this season. As
a team, they have more aces than their opponents (73 to 62) and less service
errors (89 to 99). Katey Thompson paces the Gauchos with her 18 aces, which
is also the third-highest mark in the conference. Sophomore setter Ali Santi leads
the team with a 2.5 ace-to-error ratio.

• Solid Sully
Junior outside hitter Leah Sully has been a source of consistency for the Gauchos.
Sully has recorded 10 or more kills 13 times and a double-double 10 times, both
the most among the Gauchos. While her usual strong serving has taken a dip (no
aces in her past seven matches), her attacking has been ramped up, including three
consecutive 25+ kill matches earlier this month.