SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – In its return home to the Thunderdome, UCSB fell to Long Beach State 3-0, as the 49ers remain undefeated in conference.
The Gauchos' record falls to 8-9 with a 3-3 league record, while Long Beach improves to 15-4 overall and 5-0 in Big West play.
"Honestly, tonight was disappointing because we didn't show our fight," UCSB Head Coach Nicole Lantagne Welch said. "I thought we served pretty well, but defensively we were a wreck, so we couldn't channel those serves into enough points."
On offense, Britton Taylor led UCSB with 10 kills off a .208 hitting percentage, as she reached double digits in the kills category for the first time since she tallied 10 against UC Riverside (10/3). Behind her was Chanel Hoffman who finished with nine kills, a service ace, and a team-high two block assists. Phoebe Grunt, Allie Sullberg, and Taylor also finished the night with two total blocks.
Long Beach State came into the matchup carrying plenty of momentum from last week's wins over Hawai'i (3-2) and Cal State Northridge (3-1), and started the match on a quick break with the night's first four points.
However, an attacking error from Alex Reid gave the Gauchos their first serve of the match, which they used to go on a 6-1 run. With her first serve of the night, Hoffman dealt a service ace to put UCSB on the board.
Later, Barbeau registered her first kill, as Jaylen Villanueva kept the Gaucho offense hot with two service aces in three attempts. From there, the teams traded off points until Santa Barbara took an 11-9 lead behind kills from Hoffman and Taylor.
Facing the two-point deficit, the 49ers called a timeout and returned to the floor with big plays from middle blocker Ashley Murray who recorded two block assists and a kill.
The 49ers created some space between themselves and the Gauchos at 23-17, but UCSB rallied to come within three with kills from Hoffman and Sullberg. The two would later combine for a block to force a second game-point try for the 49ers, but Long Beach was able to clinch the set with a kill from Jenelle Hudson.
Long Beach State, which attacked at a .406 clip as a team, carried their strong offensive play into the second and third sets and finish with 25-16 wins in both.
In looking ahead to tomorrow night's matchup with Cal State Northridge, Lantagne Welch wants her players "to have Gaucho pride and come out fired up.
"We need to come out with the confidence to know that we can win the match," she continued. "We just need to go after them."
Santa Barbara will host CSUN - who is coming off a 3-1 win over Cal Poly - in the Thunderdome on Saturday night at 7 p.m.
Tickets are available at the match or online here.