Richmond, Va. – Lindsey Ruddins recorded an 18-kill, 11-dig double-double to lead the UC Santa Barbara women's volleyball team to a 3-1 (25-17, 25-23, 23-25, 25-22) victory over North Carolina State on the first day of the VCU Invitational.
UCSB (3-1) put together a .261 hitting percentage (58-18-153) while holding the Wolfpack (2-1) to just .182 (45-19-143) and held an edge in digs (68 to 66), total blocks (11 to 9) and service aces (5 to 4).
Tallulah Froley and Rowan Ennis joined Ruddins in double figures with 13 and 12 kills, respectively, while Zoe Fleck led the team with 18 digs. Torre Glasker pitched in 12 digs while adding six kills, and Olivia Lovenberg dished out a team-high 32 assists. Deni Wilson led the team with three total blocks while Glasker, Ennis and Ruddins each logged two apiece.
The Gauchos jumped out to a quick start in the opening set, taking an 8-2 lead behind four early kills from Froley. NC State would mount a run to get within two points, 15-13, but UCSB would pull away once more after a 5-1 run punctuated by an Ennis service ace. Wilson, Ruddins and Glasker came through with big kills down the stretch to give the Gauchos a 25-17 first set win.
The second set would prove to be more of a seesaw affair as UCSB and NC State went back and forth with the lead until the score was tied up at 18-18. From there, Ruddins and Froley would combine for five kills and the Gauchos would take seven of the next 12 points to edge the Wolfpack 25-23 and take a 2-0 set advantage.
The third set came down to the wire once again, with both teams tied at 18-18, but it would be NC State staving off the sweep and forcing a fourth set with a 25-23 victory of its own.
Froley sparked a 5-1 run to start the fourth frame for UCSB, but the Wolfpack would climb back and make it interesting down the stretch. The teams found themselves tied at 22 apiece before Ennis slammed down a kill, followed by a Wolpack attacking error. With match point on the line, the Gauchos did not waste the opportunity and turned to Ruddins who ended the game with a kill off an assist from Lovenberg.
UCSB will take on Navy at 8:00 a.m. PT tomorrow morning and finish off the tournament against host VCU at 3:00 p.m. PT which can be seen on ESPN+.