Aug. 24, 2007
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Despite 22 kills apiece from Lauren McLaughlin and Rebecca Saraceno, the UC Santa Barbara volleyball team dropped its season opener Friday as it fell 3-2 against San Diego State on the opening day of play at SDSU's Aztec Invitational.
UCSB (0-1) was edged 35-33 in a tight opening set, but came back to win the next two by scores of 30-23 and 30-13. However, San Diego State (1-0) rebounded and won games four and five, 30-27 and 15-9.
The Gauchos had won the previous 10 meetings against the Aztecs.
In game one, UCSB led most of the way and looked to win the game with a 29-25 advantage late. However, two SDSU kills plus a pair of Gaucho hitting errors knotted the score at 29-29. The Aztecs then staved off four more game points before a kill by setter Leah Lathrop and a Santa Barbara attack error gave SDSU the 35-33 victory.
In the second game, the Gauchos ran out to a four-point lead at 10-6 and maintained that pace for the remainder of the contest as the Aztecs could get no closer than two in a 30-23 UCSB win. Saraceno had a game-high seven kills to lead Santa Barbara.
Game three saw UCSB score 10 of the first 11 points and never look back en route to the 17-point victory. McLaughlin led the Gauchos with nine kills, two more than the Aztecs totaled for the contest.
After watching San Diego State take an 11-9 lead in the fourth game, UCSB ran off six straight points and built its lead to 21-16 before the Aztecs began their comeback. SDSU tied the game at 25-25, and after the teams traded points, the Aztecs rattled off three straight points on two kills and a Gaucho hitting error. Following an Aztec service error, Lindsey Mahan put down a kill to send the match to a deciding fifth frame.
In the fifth game, UCSB took a 7-4 lead before SDSU called a timeout. Out of the break, Aime Cordeiro served four straight points to give the Aztecs an 8-7 advantage. After UCSB tied the score at eight, San Diego State notched a pair of points to take the lead for good. At 10-9, the Aztecs scored the next five points of the match to ice the victory.
McLaughlin and Saraceno each had 12 digs to go along with their match-high 22 kills. Brett Quirarte posted 17 kills and six blocks, while Leigh Stephenson led UCSB defensively with 19 digs. Freshman setter Dana Vargas debuted with a match-best 61 assists and added 12 digs, while classmate Kasey Kipp blocked seven balls at the net.
For San Diego State, Stephanie Darnall had a team-high 16 kills and Cordeiro finished with a match-high 21 digs. The Aztecs, which out-blocked the Gauchos 19-13, got 10 stuffs from Kelley Wahlin.
Neither team hit well as UCSB was at .182 and SDSU swung at .177.
UCSB wraps up play at the Aztec Invitational Saturday as it takes on Long Island at 1 p.m. and Fairfield at 4 p.m. in Peterson Gym.
The Gauchos play in four road tournaments before opening their home season Sept. 21 against Big West Conference opponent Cal State Northridge.