Gauchos Wrap Baylor Tournament Play With Loss to Host Bears

Emilia Petrachi (photo by Tony Mastres)
Emilia Petrachi (photo by Tony Mastres)

WACO, Texas – UC Santa Barbara closed up its run in the Baylor Tournament this weekend with a 3-0 loss to the hosts on Sunday afternoon at the Ferrell Center, with set scores of 25-19, 25-12, 25-14. 

The Gauchos (0-3) faced the Bears less than 24 hours after being eked out by No. 15 Florida State in a five-set thriller, a match that saw UCSB sophomore outside hitter Lindsey Ruddins land a rally scoring era program-record 36 kills alongside career nights from sophomore outside Chloe Allen (24 kills) and junior setter Lexi Rottman (60 assists). 

Making her debut as an outside for UCSB, senior Sydney Bast (normally a defensive specialist) finished with a team-high nine kills on Sunday. Junior libero Emilia Petrachi was the Gauchos' top defensive producer with 16 digs, giving her 54 digs for the weekend. 

Baylor (2-1) was led by the twin threat of Shelly Fanning and Yossiana Pressley, who finished with 13 kills apiece, with Fanning doing so on .765 hitting. 

Bast had a scorching-hot start for UCSB, putting down five kills on an errorless ten swings in the first set. Unfortunately, that wasn't enough to overcome an 8-2 rally by Baylor to close the set. 

The Bears jumped out to a 12-4 lead in the middle set, thanks in part to four of the team's six blocks in the stanza, and cruised from there to a big two-game advantage. 

The third set was tight early, with the teams battling to a 9-9 tie. Unfortunately, Baylor got on a roll and took control with a 9-2 run to make it 18-11. A pair of kills from Chloe Allen (six kills, seven digs overall on the night) and another from Nicole Omwanghe briefly swung momentum back in the Gauchos' favor, but the Bears went on to end the match by winning the final four points in a row.

UCSB looks to bounce back next weekend at the Utah State Tournament in Logan, Utah. The Gauchos open that tourney against Montana State at 3:00 p.m. PT on Friday before taking on Pacific and Utah State in a Saturday doubleheader.