Sept. 22, 2007
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The UC Santa Barbara women's volleyball team was unable to overcome Big West Conference rival Long Beach State Saturday evening, falling to the 49ers, 30-27, 30-18, 30-28 in the Thunderdome. Lauren McLaughlin led all players with 16 kills in the loss.
With the loss, UCSB falls to 5-9 overall and drops to 0-2 in Big West play while Long Beach State improves to 7-6 and an even 1-1 in conference matches. The 49ers stretch their all-time series lead against the Gauchos to 53-33 and have won four straight versus UCSB.
In addition to McLaughlin, senior Brett Quirarte was solid for UCSB tallying 15 kills on 27 attempts with just three errors for a .444 clip. Freshman Kasey Kipp posted five block assists while junior Leigh Stephenson had 12 digs and two aces.
Freshman setter Dana Vargas, who was playing in her first collegiate match against her sister Nicole Vargas, Long Beach State's setter, posted 40 assists in the match.
For Long Beach State, Alexis Crimes was stellar with 15 kills on 31 attempts with just one error for a .452 hitting percentage. Crimes also posted six digs and six total blocks. Michaela Hasalikova had 11 kills and a .444 clip, helping the 49ers to the win. Libero Talaya Whitfield posted 21 digs and Nicole Vargas had 41 assists in the win.
Game one saw six tied scores and three lead changes before a 3-0 run, including a pair of kills from Quincy Verdin, helped the 49ers distance themselves. The Gauchos remained close, falling no more than four points behind their opposition. A service ace from Vargas put Long Beach ahead at 28-24, but the Gauchos inched their way back to just a two-point deficit with a McLaughlin kill and block. A Gaucho error brought the 49ers to game point before Ashley Lee sealed the win at 30-27 with a kill.
The 49ers were impressive in game two as they outhit UCSB .472 to .212 in the frame. Long Beach captured the lead early and dominated the frame with Crimes and Hasalikova providing six and five kills, respectively.
In game three, the 49ers broke away from a 9-8 contest with a 7-0 run, which included three kills by Hasalikova. The Gauchos chipped away at Long Beach's lead and came within one at 29-28 with a kill from McLaughlin. Crimes finished the match with a kill and captured the victory for the 49ers with a 30-28 win.
UCSB will continue Big West action next week on the road. The Gauchos will travel to Pacific on Friday, Sept. 28 before facing UC Davis on Saturday in their first official match against the Aggies since UC Davis became a full-fledged Division I school and member of the Big West.