Sept. 8, 2007
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - The UC Santa Barbara women's volleyball team continued to struggle Saturday evening as it dropped its sixth consecutive match during its first-ever pairing with Virginia in the final match-up of the 2007 University of San Diego Invitational. The Cavaliers captured a 30-22, 30-22, 21-30, 30-28 win over the Gauchos at USD's Jenny Craig Pavilion.
With the loss, UCSB falls to 2-7 on the season while Virginia improves to 5-4 overall.
Junior libero Leigh Stephenson was impressive for the Gauchos posting a career-high 30 digs in the match. Lauren McLaughlin led the team with her seventh double-double of the season: 18 kills and 13 digs. Sophomore Rebecca Saraceno posted 14 kills and 12 digs for her fifth double-double of the season and freshman Dana Vargas rounded out the double-double performances with 53 assists and 10 digs.
Freshman Charlene DeHoog hit a team-best .385 with 11 kills on 26 attempts with just one error. DeHoog also had a team-high two block assists. Brett Quirarte rounded out the double-digit kill performances with 14 in the match.
Sarah Kirkwood led Virginia with 22 kills and 15 digs. Melissa Caldwell tallied 22 digs for the Cavaliers and Kelly Irvin posted 32 assists.
The beginning of game one was tight and with the Gauchos trailing by just one point at 12-11, Virginia went on a 6-0 run which included three service aces from Kirkwood. Leading 18-12, the Cavaliers commanded the remainder of the game, outhitting the Gauchos .224 to .080 to take the first frame, 30-22.
Game two began with six tied scores and two lead changes, but Virginia once again broke free from an early tie at 10-10 with a 5-1 run and never looked back, once again posting a 30-22 win over the Gauchos.
A different UCSB team seemed to emerge in game three as the Gauchos scored the first three points of the game and did not forfeit the lead once as they outhit Virginia .359 to .100 and captured the game at 30-21.
Game four proved to be a major battle as the teams tied 13 times and traded the lead on four occasions. Trailing 28-26, Quirarte scored on a kill to bring UCSB back within one but Kirkwood hammered one over to bring Virginia's lead to 29-27. McLaughlin tallied a kill but Kirkwood responded with yet another kill to capture the match with a 30-28 win.
The Gauchos will conclude their 12-match road swing next weekend when they head to the Bay Area Tournament where they will face Saint Mary's, No. 19 Santa Clara and Notre Dame. UCSB will open at home on Friday, Sept. 21 when they host Big West Conference foe Cal State Northridge in the Thunderdome at 7 pm.