Gauchos Fall in Five Set Thriller at Long Beach

Lindsey Ruddins (Photo by Jeilo Gauna)
Lindsey Ruddins (Photo by Jeilo Gauna)

LONG BEACH, Calif. – Facing Long Beach State Friday night on the road, the UC Santa Barbara women's volleyball team was defeated in five sets, 25-20, 25-18, 20-25, 24-26, 17-19. Redshirt junior outside hitter Lindsey Ruddins surpassed the 30-kill mark for the second time this season, going off for 31 kills and nine digs.

The Gauchos (12-9, 4-5) also received standout performances by juniors Rowan Ennis and Torre Glasker. Ennis set a new season-high with 14 kills (.294), also tallying a team-high five blocks. Glasker finished with 13 kills and 14 digs.

Senior libero Emilia Petrachi was stellar on defense once again, leading all players with 27 digs. It was the third time in her last five outings that she's recorded at least 27 digs.

Santa Barbara controlled things early on, taking the first two sets by an average of six points while outhitting the 49ers (12-9, 4-5) .232 to .162. However, Long Beach responded with a strong set three, winning it 25-20.

Both teams would get hot in a back-and-forth fourth set which saw 17 ties and seven lead changes. After a Ruddins kill put UCSB up 24-23, the 49ers would close things out on a 3-0 run, forcing a decisive fifth set.

Things would remain tight throughout the fifth and final game, as neither team led by more than two points. The Gauchos came up empty on a pair of match points, and after Ruddins tied things with her 31st kill at 17-17, the 49ers finished strong once again to take a 19-17 win.

Now halfway through its current four-match road trip, UCSB will be back in action tomorrow night at 7:00 p.m. at CSUN.