Gauchos Close Strong at CSUN for First Win of Road Trip

Emilia Petrachi (Photo by Tony Mastres)
Emilia Petrachi (Photo by Tony Mastres)

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. – The UC Santa Barbara women's volleyball team ended a three-match skid Saturday night at CSUN, coming back from a 2-1 deficit to claim a season-series sweep over the Matadors (6-15, 2-7).

For the second straight night, the same three Gauchos (13-9, 5-5) powered the offense, led by redshirt junior Lindsey Ruddins with 24 kills (.323). Juniors Torre Glasker and Rowan Ennis ended their nights with 12 and 11 kills, respectively, both crossing the 10-kill mark together for the second straight outing.

Ruddins was also active on the defensive end, finishing as one of four Gauchos in double-figures in digs. She and Glasker tallied 13 each, while senior libero Emilia Petrachi led all players with 22 digs and freshman Zoe Fleck added 11.

Arguably the top defensive performance of the night though came from sophomore middle blocker Nicole Omwanghe, who finished with seven blocks, just one shy of her career-high. It was the fourth performance of her career with seven or more blocks and her first of 2018.

After a 25-19 opening set win for CSUN, UCSB answered with the most lopsided win of the night, 25-15, to tie things up at 1-1. The Matadors would win a tight third set 25-23, but once again, UCSB had an answer, taking set four 25-19.

Set five would remain close, but a 3-0 UCSB run put the Gauchos up 11-8. CSUN would fight back to extend the game, eventually taking the lead with a kill to make it 18-17. However, UCSB put away the final three points of the match, taking a 20-18 win on a CSUN attacking error.

With the win, UCSB ends a run of four straight defeats in matches that went five sets. The Gauchos will return to action for the final outing of their four-match road trip next Saturday at Hawaii.