IRVINE, Calif. – Facing UC Irvine in its second-to-last away match of the year Thursday night, the UC Santa Barbara women's volleyball team fell in four sets, 25-17, 23-25, 25-17, 25-14.
Redshirt junior outside hitter Lindsey Ruddins reached the 20-kill mark for the third time in her last four road matches, leading all players with 21 kills. The Anteaters (16-10, 10-4) held the Gauchos (14-11, 6-7) to just a .129 hitting percentage on the night though, hitting above their season-average .264 clip themselves.
Senior libero Emilia Petrachi tallied a match-high 26 digs. Freshman setter Olivia Lovenberg went for 37 assists and 11 digs, notching the first double-double in her last eight outings, while junior Torre Glasker added 10 digs and seven kills.
After dropping the opening game, UCSB would take its first lead of the day late in set two, breaking a 21-21 tie on an Anteater attacking error. The final five points would be book-ended by a pair of Ruddins kills, two of her seven in the set, the last of which gave the Gauchos their lone win.
In set three, Irvine would score both the first four and the last four points, hitting at a .278 clip while holding the Gauchos to .073. The fourth and final game would see Irvine lead by as many as 11 points, as the Anteaters opened with a 9-3 lead before closing things out on a 12-5 run.
Middle blocker Rowan Ennis had the third-most kills for the visitors, registering three kills and a pair of solo blocks for the third time this season. UCI held a 7-4 advantage in blocks overall.
With her 21 kills, Ruddins crossed the 500-kill mark for the second straight season. Now at 1,459 for her career, she is four shy of cracking the program's all-time top-five.
Santa Barbara will close out its 2018 road slate at UC Davis on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. Following that, the Gauchos will have two remaining matches, hosting Cal State Fullerton on next Friday, Nov. 16 and UC Riverside next Saturday for Senior Night, both at 7:00 p.m.