October 19, 2013

UCSB Deals CSUN Its First Conference Loss with 3-0 Sweep

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – The good times continue to roll for the UCSB women's volleyball team, as the Gauchos swept first place Cal State Northridge in the Thunderdome on Friday night. The 3-0 victory was a result from the impressive match scores of 25-22, 25-19, and 25-15.

UCSB has now defeated the top-team in the Big West three matches in a row, and has also extend its season-high winning streak to four matches.

The Gauchos elevated their record to 4-1 in conference and 9-8 overall after handing the Matadors their first loss in conference play. CSUN now stands at 5-1 in the Big West and 15-4 on the season.

"This was a great win for us," UCSB Head Coach Nicole Lantagne Welch said. "It's always tough to stay focused after a big win like we had at Hawai'i. I was happy that our team approached this match like they did."

Ali Spindt and Katey Thompson led UCSB on offense with kill totals of 12 and 11, respectively. 

At the net, Alli Sullberg led the Gauchos with six block assists and a solo block. Overall, UCSB managed to edge out one of the top blocking teams in the Big West with 10 total team blocks to the Matadors' seven. 

The first set began as a neck-and-neck race between the two teams until the Gauchos went on their first major run of the night. With UCSB up 12-11, Santa Barbara added to its narrow advantage with a 6-1 run. Ali Barbeau delivered back-to-back kills for the Gauchos, while Jaylen Villanueva and Spindt added one each.

The scoring spree brought UCSB ahead 18-12, however CSUN would answer back with a 9-4 run of its own. UCSB was able to fend off the Matador comeback thanks to a timely service error and a Spindt kill. Barbeau would go on to hit the game winning kill.

Set two opened with an aggressive CSUN team that recorded three kills en route to an early 6-1 lead.

The Gauchos chipped away at the early deficit and followed the play of Allie Sullberg who was strung together three straight points for UCSB to tie the game at 10. The freshman middle blocker started her run with a kill and made consecutive block assists with Villanueva.

The Matadors kept the score close, but trailed UCSB 18-16. That's when Kara Sherrard put CSUN out of reach by dealing three straight service aces. The Gauchos rode that momentum to the tune of three kills to end the set, as they picked up the 2-0 set advantage going into the break.

The third and final game continued to showcase the Gauchos aggressive play at the service line. While only recording to service aces in the set, UCSB used their serves to tame the Matadors' offense by holding them to just 15 points. 

CSUN committed six attacking errors in the set, while the Gauchos took advantage by dialing in for 11 kills.

Thompson led the game with four kills, including the match clincher. The senior opposite has recorded the match ending point in three of UCSB's past four matches.

UCSB will continue its two-match home stand on Saturday night when they host UC Davis in the Thunderdome. For live updates on the match, follow the UCSB women's volleyball team's Twitter @UCSB_Volleyball.