Gauchos Fall to CSU Bakersfield in Roadrunner Classic Opener

Charlie Robinson (Photo by Jeilo Gauna)
Charlie Robinson (Photo by Jeilo Gauna)

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – The UC Santa Barbara women's volleyball team returned to the road Thursday to play the first of three matches this week to close out its non-conference slate. Facing Roadrunner Classic host Cal State Bakersfield, the Gauchos fell 25-20, 25-15, 25-22.

The loss ended a season-best four-match winning streak for UCSB (6-4), which suffered just its second sweep of 2018. The Gauchos were outhit by the Roadrunners on the night .402 to .118. Redshirt junior outside hitter Lindsey Ruddins led the way with 12 kills and seven digs, while middle blockers Rowan Ennis and Charlie Robinson finished with seven and six, respectively.

Defensively, junior Torre Glasker and senior Emilia Petrachi tallied team-highs of nine and eight digs. It was Petrachi's second straight match with eight scoops, marking the first time since her freshman year in 2015 that she had fewer than 10 in back-to-back outings.

The Roadrunners opened the match strong with four points out of the gates. UCSB fought its way back, tying the game for the third time at 20-20 following a kill from Glasker. However, CSUB would claim the final five points of the opening set, with four of the points coming off Gaucho errors.

The second set saw the Gauchos snag the first point on a kill by Robinson, but the Roadrunners would answer. Five unanswered from the home side midway through the set put them up 15-8. They would lead by as many as 10 thanks to a game-clinching kill from Briannah Mariner, winning it 25-15. Bakersfield hit at an extremely efficient .750 clip in the set.

Set three opened more promising for UCSB than its two predecessors, as a pair of Ruddins points put them up 4-1 in the early-going. Back-to-back aces from Ruddins would give the visitors their largest lead of the day, 16-11. Ruddins finished with a match-high three aces. Unfortunately for the Gauchos, the Roadrunners closed the match out on an 11-4 run, taking the final frame 25-22.

UCSB returns to the court tomorrow for its final two matches before opening Big West play against UC Irvine next Tuesday at home. The Gauchos will face Montana at 10:00 a.m. PT and South Dakota at 5:00 p.m. PT.