TUCSON, Ariz. – UC Santa Barbara started off the Wildcat Classic with a dominant sweep over Wofford on Friday. Ali Spindt led the Gauchos by being the only player to hit double-digit kill figures with 12. What was even more impressive was the freshman's prolific .556 hitting percentage. The Gaucho defense held the Terriers to a .110 kill percentage, allowing only 31 kills.
Leah Sully for the eighth time this season had another double-digit performance in digs with 10. The senior outside hitter also added four kills in the winning effort.
UCSB raises its record to 4-6, while Wofford falls to 5-7 on the season. The victory marked the second time this season that the Gauchos downed their opponent in straight sets.
"We were happy to get a three game sweep," UCSB Head Coach Nicole Lantagne Welch said. "Katey Thompson added some strong defensive will and effort at the end of the match to help finish the match off."
In the match-clinching third set, the Terriers were neck-and-neck with the Gauchos, but Katey Thompson and Phoebe Grunt delivered the momentum changing block to put UCSB up by two-points. The rest of their team followed their direction by turning a 5-1 run to end the match.
Overall, Thompson finished the evening with five digs and two block assists. At middle blocker, Grunt led the floor with four block assists of her own.
The Gaucho's run to seal the win was reminiscent of the same energy they opened the match with in the first. In the set, Wofford never held the lead for more than a single play, while UCSB went on to take a commanding eight-point lead at 23-15. The Gauchos forced the Terriers into a slew of attack errors, but UCSB was able to score its final three points with its own kills. Sully had the first and was followed by Allie Sullberg and Thompson, who had the game-finishing kill.
Sullberg had an efficient night on offense with her .545 hitting percentage, good for six kills.
UC SB showed that they could win in different fashions as they put together an impressive comeback effort to take control of the match with a second set victory. The Terriers led by as many as five points in the second, but the Gauchos were able to shrink the deficit down to three with a 16-13 score.
From there, the Gaucho offense went off with five unanswered kills. Thompson and Grunt both notched in a kill, while Spindt registered three during the pivotal stretch. UCSB went on to hold the Terriers to just five points from then on, wrapping the set up with a 25-21 win.
The Gauchos will continue tournament play tomorrow when they take on Loyola Maryland (12:30 p.m.) and Arizona (7 p.m.).