Santa Barbara, Calif.- The UCSB Gauchos dropped their fourth straight match, all against conference opponents, with tonight's loss versus the UC Davis Aggies (15-13, 9-6). UCSB could not find enough rhythm to avoid a sweep (25-23, 25-14, 29-27) following a heartbreaking loss against Pacific the night before.
The Gauchos drop to 13-16, 6-8 with the loss. Though a disappointing team effort, junior outside hitter Leah Sully continued her impressive double-double streak, 10 in the last 11 games, with 16 kills and 10 digs. Backing her up was fellow junior opposite Katey Thompson who was able to manage 9 kills and 7 digs.
Freshman libero Taylor Formico was also in stride, adding to her already impressive single season school record for digs with another 23 on the night.
The Gauchos started out competitive in the first game but saw substitutions unable to match up effectively against the Aggies as Davis went on an eight-point run in the second game. UCSB came out the strongest in the third game, reaching a five-point streak to lead Davis 20-16 before an Aggie timeout. The Gauchos were unable to capitalize after the timeout, however, ultimately losing a back-and-forth thriller in front of 310 spectators at the Thunderdome.
Davis was lead by senior Allison Whitson with 20 kills and 11 digs, one of five Aggies in double figures for digs. The Aggies stymied UCSB defensively, giving up only 7 kills while holding the Gauchos to a -.032 hitting percentage in the second game.
Head Coach Kathy Gregory's stern tone reflected the performance, "This was a disappointing loss to say the least. We're going to need to raise our game right away."
UCSB hits the road next week against UC Riverside on Friday followed by CSU Fullerton on Saturday. UCSB beat Riverside previously in a strong yet tight win in four games while dropping a marathon five game match against Fullerton, both in the Thunderdome.