Gauchos Fall 3-1 to UNLV in Opening Match of the LMU Four Points Sheraton LAX Classic

Aug. 31, 2007

Box Score

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Despite Lauren McLaughlin's fourth straight double-double of the season and Leigh Stephenson's career best 26 digs, the UC Santa Barbara volleyball team was unable to overcome UNLV Friday evening falling 25-30, 30-27, 21-30, 27-30 in the opening match of the LMU Four Points Sheraton LAX Classic being played at Loyola Marymount's Gersten Pavilion this weekend.

With the loss, the UCSB season record drops to 2-2 while UNLV improves to 3-1. This is just the second time in series history that the Rebels have defeated the Gauchos; they last defeated UCSB in three games at their home court on Sept. 8, 2006. UCSB continues to lead the all-time series 6-2.

Junior outside hitter McLaughlin led the Gauchos with her 22 kills. She committed just four errors on 72 attempts for a .250 clip. The Torrance, Calif. native also collected 16 digs and a service ace.

Sophomore Rebecca Saraceno was the only other UCSB player to record double-digit kills with 18. She also tallied 11 digs and two aces.

Freshman Dana Vargas posted her third double-double performance of the season with 46 assists and 14 digs. Junior libero Stephenson led all Gauchos with her career-best 26 digs.

Maria Aladjova, who had a match-leading 23 kills and 27 digs, led the Rebels' effort. She hit .300 on the match and also posted an ace. Jessica Walters also chipped in a double-double with 10 kills and 11 digs. Setter Melody Nua tallied 59 assists in the win while Erin Greenwood had a team-high five total blocks.

Game one saw 11 tied scores and three lead changes before UNLV slowly took the lead with a 13-8 run late in the game. Two straight attack errors by UCSB sealed the Rebel win at 30-25.

In game two, the Gauchos took the early lead and never looked back capturing the second frame at 30-27. The third frame was locked up at 14-14 when UNLV went on a 7-0 run fueled by three consecutive kills by Aladjova. The Gauchos attempted to chip away at the lead, but UNLV ended the game with three straight kills taking the frame at 30-21.

The final game saw six ties and two lead changes. With the score locked at 15-15, UCSB went on a 6-1 run fueled largely by Rebel errors. UNLV forced several UCSB errors and was able to tie the game up at 21-21, which they followed with an 8-0 run. UCSB was unable to stage a comeback, falling 30-27.

The Gauchos continue action at the LMU tourney on Saturday when they face host Loyola Marymount at 12:30 p.m. before closing the weekend with a match-up against first-time opponent Northwestern at 5:00 p.m.