DENVER, Colo. – The UC Santa Barbara Women's Volleyball team split its matches on day two of the Denver Classic, falling to Sacramento State 3-0 before taking down McNeese State 3-1.
Redshirt junior outside hitter Lindsey Ruddins led the Gauchos (3-3) offensively, recording 33 kills and 23 digs over two matches. Senior Emilia Petrachi tied a career-high with 30 digs in the win over McNeese State.
UCSB vs. McNeese State
The Gauchos came out strong following a tough defeat to Sacramento State several hours earlier, taking the first two sets against McNeese State (, 25-19, 25-14. After dropping the third set 22-25, UCSB cleaned things up in game four, 25-17, to take the their first win of the weekend.
UCSB's defense led the charge, holding the Cowgirls to a .146 hitting percentage as a team. Petrachi and junior Torre Glasker combined for 50 of the Gauchos' season-high 79 digs. Both players reached career-highs, as Petrachi tallied 30 scoops to Glasker's 20.
The Gauchos meanwhile hit at a .267 clip, as sophomore Nicole Omwanghe had one of her best outings so far this year with 11 kills (.383). Ruddins paced UCSB with 18 kills (.226) and nine digs. Glasker added 12 kills and freshman Megan Lewis set a personal-best with 10. This marked the first time in six matches this year that UCSB had four players reach double-digit kill figures.
Freshman setter Olivia Lovenberg finished with 54 assists – one shy of her career-high – as she surpassed 50 assists for the third time already this year. She also tied a personal-best with 11 digs for her fourth double-double. Junior Charlie Robinson had eight kills on an effiicient .300 hitting percentage.
UCSB vs. Sacramento State
The final scoreline in Santa Barbara's first match of the day wasn't necessarily indicative of how the match went, as Sacramento State (3-3) skimmed by to win all three sets by just two points, 25-23, 28-26, 27-25.
The Hornets found separation in the opening set, taking a 22-15 lead midway through. However, UCSB would cut the deficit to as little as one point, making it 24-23 on a kill by Ruddins. Unfortunately for the Gauchos, Sac State's Sarah Davis would then put away the game-clinching point with a kill.
Set two favored the Gauchos in the early-going, as they responded to the Hornets' early punch with five unanswered out of the gates. Their lead would go as high as eight points, 17-9, before an 13-3 Hornets run gave them at a 22-20 advantage. UCSB answered with a 6-3 run, reclaiming the lead at 26-25, but Sac State clinched a two-game lead after closing the set with three unanswered points.
The third and final game proved similar to the second, as the Gauchos found themselves up 18-10 after a Hornet attacking error capped a 9-1 UCSB run. Once again, Sac State had an answer, slowly whittling away at the lead until it was tied at 25-25. The Hornets took the final three points for the second straight set, as UCSB suffered its first sweep of the season.
Lovenberg finished with 40 assists, while Ruddins tallied 15 kills and and 14 scoops. Robinson added 11 kills and four blocks, reaching double-figures in the kill department for the second straight match.
UCSB returns to Santa Barbara next weekend for its first home matches of the year at the Thunderdome Classic. The Gauchos' home season-opener will be against Texas Tech at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 7.