UCSB Loses First League Match as Cal State Fullerton Sweeps

Oct. 2, 2010

Box Score

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - A stifling defense led Cal State Fullerton to a sweep over UC Santa Barbara in Big West women's volleyball action Saturday at the Thunderdome, snapping the Gauchos' four-match win streak and blemishing their perfect record in league play.

The Titans held a 65-49 advantage in digs and won by scores of 25-21, 25-19 and 25-23. Fullerton improved to 13-4 overall and 2-1 in the Big West, while Santa Barbara fell to 9-7 and 3-1.

"We didn't rise to the challenge and we played with little intensity," said UCSB head coach Kathy Gregory, who was named a Legend of the `Dome Friday. Fullerton was great defensively and we couldn't match them."

Several times the Gauchos mounted exciting comeback bids, but ultimately couldn't replicate Friday's victory over No. 21 Long Beach State, in which UCSB came back from being down two sets to win in five.

Cal State Fullerton, which has won nine of its last 10 matches, put down 50 kills to UCSB's 38 and out-hit the Gauchos .256 (50-18-125) to .175 (38-16-126).

The Titans were snapping all weekend as they halted Cal Poly's 10-match win streak Friday night in San Luis Obispo. Poly swept Long Beach State Saturday at home.

UCSB, now 55-5 all-time against Cal State Fullerton, was attempting to start its Big West season with a 4-0 mark for the first time since 2003.

No Gaucho posted double-digit kill totals as Kara Sherrard led with nine and was followed by Charlene DeHoog (eight), Stacey Schmidt (seven) and setter Dana Vargas (six). DeHoog finished with a team-high 13 digs and libero Kelly Heenan had 11. UCSB was slightly stronger on the block with seven team stuffs to six for Cal State Fullerton.

Titan Erin Saddler led all players with 16 kills on 42 swings. Torrie Brown had 14 kills. The bulk of the defense was provided by Cami Croteau, who kept 29 Gaucho attacks alive. Genie Francisco followed with 13 digs and Gabrielle Dewberry had 11.

In the final set, UCSB was down by as many as seven points, the final time at 21-14. Three straight points later on got the Gauchos within three at 22-19. At match point (24-20), another three consecutive points on a Titan service error and a pair of double blocks took the score to 24-23. However, a kill from Kayla Neto ended the frame and the match. UCSB got off to an impressive 6-2 advantage, but Fullerton rattled off five straight points (three from kills by Leah Maurer), giving the Titans a 12-8 lead, which they didn't relinquish the rest of the way.

After trailing by seven points midway through the opening set, the Gauchos had three impressive strings of points. Six straight scores (four of those on kills) gave UCSB its first lead at 16-14. The Titans would tie it at 16 with a Bre Moreland ace and took a one-point lead on a Gaucho attack error. Santa Barbara kept it close until at 20-19 when the Titans scored four of the next six points and went up 24-21. Saddler finished off the set with a kill.

UCSB had its lowest hitting percentage in the second set (.128). The Gauchos led 9-8, but the Titans scored three times in a row to take a lead that they would not lose again.

The match had 13 tie scores and nine lead changes.

UCSB will take a quick break from league play and take on Pepperdine at Firestone Fieldhouse on Oct. 6, kicking off a four-match road swing. Following the tilt against the Waves, the Gauchos play at Cal Poly, Pacific and UC Davis.

The Intercollegiate Athletics Ticket Office has two parking spaces adjacent to the ICA building and is now open on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., making it easier than ever for fans to purchase tickets. The two parking spots, designated specifically for the Ticket Office, are also available during weekday hours, which are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The Gaucho Fund, launched as part of the Dare to Be Great strategic plan, is UCSB Athletics' annual giving program to provide vital funding support for scholarships, academic success and leadership development for Gaucho student-athletes. The Gaucho Fund is the anchor to the Dare to Be Great campaign.

GKids is the official kids club of UCSB Athletics. Members receive a free GKids t-shirt, free admittance to tons of Gaucho games, opportunities to be ball boys and girls at games, a special birthday greeting from Olie (the GKids mascot) and much, much more!

- UCSBgauchos.com -