LONG BEACH, Calif. – UCSB was led by Jaylen Villanueva's 12 kills, but fell to No. 20 Long Beach State at the Walter Pyramid 3-0 on Saturday night.
Santa Barbara falls to 12-13 on the season and are now 7-7 in the Big West. With the win, the 49ers remain undefeated in league at 12-0 and are 22-4 overall.
The Gauchos, while taking the loss, battled hard thanks to the talents of Jaylen Villanueva with 12 kills, Kristen Berlo with four kills and three blocks, and Britton Taylor with seven kills. Spindt led the defense with 14 digs while Barbeau trailed her with five digs and two service aces.
Villanueva also added a pair of service aces herself as she finished with a .250 hitting percentage.
The Gauchos struggled at first, giving Long Beach the opening set at 25-19. Their rough start was largely in part due to attacking errors, giving Long Beach the momentum they needed to take the set. However, in facing a 22-15 49er lead, Kristen Berlo narrowed the gap to 22-19 with one kill and three block assists. Long Beach State's offense was led by senior Bre Mackie and junior Alex Reid, who contributed to the win with two kills each.
Overall, Long Beach State finished with a .371 clip, as Reid and Chisom Okpala led the floor with 12 and 11 kills, respectively.
Long Beach State was unrelenting as the pulled out another set win over UCSB at 25-18, though Taylor's four kills in the game gave the Gauchos a fighting chance. LBSU's Reid paced the floor with five kills, and Okpala recorded four, in leading their team to victory.
After the break, UCSB was unable to force a game four, as Long Beach State won the final set 25-17. Valiant efforts from the Gauchos brought them close, but in the end it was Long Beach State's strong offense that led the match.
With the 49ers leading 20-13, the Gauchos saw Hanna Nielson deal a quick attack to regain the serve for her team. Britton Taylor then recorded a service ace to make it two straight Gaucho points, while Phoebe Grunt made a solo block to put UCSB within four points.
In continuing her strong attack, Villanueva came through with six kills in the third match in keeping her team competitive.
Next weekend, in the team's highly anticipated final home game of the season, UCSB will host Hawaii on Friday, Nov. 21 at 7:00 in the Thunderdome. Tickets are available at the Ticketing Office in the Intercollegiate Athletics Building, over the phone at 805.893.UCSB (8272), or online here.