SACRAMENTO, Calif. – UCSB put on a pair of comeback efforts in the first and third sets, but Loyola Marymount held on to win the match 3-0 at the Sacramento State Invitational.
Santa Barbara's offense was led by opposite Britton Taylor with 10 kills, while fellow opposite Jaylen Villanueva and outside hitter Ali Barbeau each finished with six. With Friday's performance, Taylor has now led the Gauchos in kills in two matches this season. Before this year, Taylor has not led UCSB in kills since she had 14 against Portland State as a freshman (9/4/12).
At the net, Allie Sullberg tallied five kills with her .357 hitting percentage and also made five block assists in the match.
Making her first start ever for UCSB was freshman Sydney Bast who picked up a team-leading seven digs against the Lions.
In the first set, UCSB made a comeback in closing out what was a six-point Lions lead. Down 12-6, the Gauchos worked their way back into contention with a 10-4 run to the tie the set at 16.
Both Taylor and Villanueva led the team with two kills each, while Barbeau capped off the run with the set-tying kill.
The Lions and the Gauchos continued to trade off points with neither team gaining more than a one-point advantage. During this time, UCSB gained its first lead in the set, as LMU committed an unforced error with a bad set from setter Hannah Tedrow.
Up 21-20, UCSB could not complete the comeback, as the Lions strung together five-straight points to take the first.
LMU continued with that same momentum in the second, as they jumped out to a 7-0 before UCSB found its first point courtesy of a Barbeau kill. From there, the Lions went on to take a 2-0 lead over the Gauchos with a 25-13 second set victory.
Despite Loyola jumping out to another earl lead in the third set, UCSB made it interesting when they went on a 7-2 run to lower the deficit to two points. With the score reading 21-13 in favor of the Lions, the Gauchos called a timeout and put themselves back on track.
In the first point after the timeout, Sullberg registered a kill and Hanna Nielson followed her with a service ace after being subbed in. A Lion kill stopped the 2-0 streak, but UCSB responded with five unanswered points starting with a back-to-back blocks from Sullberg and Taylor. Jane Lamp added an ace, while Taylor recorded a kill in the run as UCSB brought itself within two points at 22-20.
The Lions were able to overcome the Gauchos' furious comeback, though, and took the set 25-21 to clinch the match.
UCSB will continue tournament play tomorrow when they take on Fresno State at 10 a.m. and will face Sacramento State later at 7:30 p.m. Both matches will feature live stats, while the Gauchos' match with the Hornets will have a live video feed.