September 1, 2007

Gauchos Unable to Overcome Northwestern, Fall in Four Games

Sept. 1, 2007

Box Score

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - The UC Santa Barbara women's volleyball team avoided a sweep, but not a loss Saturday evening in its final match of the LMU Four Points Sheraton LAX Classic as it fell 23-30, 26-30, 30-27, 20-30 to first-time opponent Northwestern at Loyola Marymount's Gersten Pavilion.

UCSB went winless over the weekend, also dropping matches to UNLV, 3-1, and host LMU, 3-0. The Gauchos are now 2-4 on the young season, their weakest start since the 2001 season.

Junior Lauren McLaughlin was once again the Gaucho leader as she collected 21 kills, 17 digs and two blocks in the match. This marked the fifth double-double of the season for the Torrance, Calif. native. McLaughlin was named to the all-tournament team, marking her second all-tournament honor this season.

Senior Brett Quirarte tallied 13 kills on 31 attempts with just two errors for a team-best .355 hitting percentage. The middle blocker also had four total blocks in the loss.

Rebecca Saraceno practically cloned her output from Saturday's prior match versus LMU, as she posted 11 kills and 10 digs. Libero Leigh Stephenson has 24 digs in the loss while setter Dana Vargas dished out 45 assists accompanied by 16 digs.

Courtnie Paulus led the Wildcats with 26 kills and 20 digs; she also tallied two service aces. Chelsy Hyser hit an impressive .526 on the match with 11 kills on 19 attempts with just one error and Lindsay Anderson contributed a double-double with 15 kills and 18 digs.

Kate Nobilio led all players with 25 digs and Elyse Glab posted 54 assists for Northwestern.

The first game saw five ties and three early lead changes before Northwestern broke a 16-16 tie with a four point run. UCSB came back within two points off of kills from McLaughlin and Quirarte, but the Wildcats had the momentum as they finished the game with a 9-5 run, taking the first frame, 30-23.

UCSB jumped out to an early 5-0 lead in game two fueled by a pair of Quirarte kills. The Gauchos commanded much of the early frame and were leading 17-12 when they forfeited several points on errors allowing Northwestern to tie the game at 19-19. The teams fought through five tied scores before the Wildcats put together three straight points to take a slim lead. The Gauchos were unable to recover falling, 30-26.

The Gauchos battled through five ties and two lead changes in game three and despite being outhit .241 to .206, they were able to take the third frame, 30-27.

Game four was tight early on but the final tie was at 12-12. UCSB took a timeout and Northwestern benefited as three errors by the Gauchos and a kill from Paulus put the Wildcats ahead by four. Northwestern commanded the lead the rest of the frame and posted its biggest margin of victory with a 30-20 win in game four to take the match.

The Gauchos will embark on the latter half of their 12-match road swing next weekend when they head to the University of San Diego Tournament where they will face No. 12 San Diego on Friday, Sept. 7 and No. 21 Oklahoma and Virginia on Saturday.