Oct. 3, 2008
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The UC Santa Barbara women's volleyball team returned to the Thunderdome for the first time in 2008 on Friday evening and gave its home fans plenty to cheer about, unfortunately the Gauchos were unable to close the door on Pacific, falling 23-25, 25-20, 21-25, 25-23, 15-13 to the Tigers.
With the win, Pacific remains perfect in Big West play with a 3-0 conference record and improves to 3-8 overall. UCSB falls to 6-8 on the year and drops to 2-1 in conference. The loss snaps the Gauchos' season-best three match winning streak.
Charlene DeHoog led the charge for UCSB as she tallied a career-best 22 kills in the loss and hit a solid .362 during the match (5e, 47att). The sophomore outside hitter also contributed three block assists and six digs. Lauren McLaughlin was second on the squad with 20 kills and she chipped in 16 digs for her fifth double-double of the season.
Junior outside hitter Rebecca Saraceno rounded out the double-digit kill group with 10 to go with her 10 digs. She also chipped in a team-high two service aces and five blocks.
Alexa Anderson paced the Tigers with her 21 kills and .375 clip (3e, 48att). Mallori Gibson and Svenja Engelhardt each posted double-doubles in the win with Gibson chipping in 14 kills and 15 digs and Engelhardt tallying 11 kills and 10 digs.
Shannon Krug led all players with 52 assists and also had 11 digs for a double-double of her own and Pacific libero Kara Uhl tied Stephenson with a match-high 21 digs.
Set one saw the Gauchos break an early 3-3 tie with a four-point run behind the serving of Saraceno to give UCSB a 7-3 advantage. UCSB held the lead, reaching an eight-point advantage at 16-8 on a kill from Saraceno. The Tigers posed a comeback late in the set and were able to tie the game at 21-21, the deadlock remained until UCSB used a kill from Saraceno to reach match point and a block by Kasey Kipp and Saraceno ensued, sealing the win at 25-23. The Gauchos hit a match-best .318 during the set.
Pacific dominated the second frame, forcing the Gauchos to take their timeouts early while trailing 5-1 and 12-2. A Gaucho service error would grant Pacific its biggest lead of the set at 15-4 before UCSB put together a 4-0 run that included four consecutive blocks to climb slightly back into the set. The Gaucho turnaround was evident and when they put together a 5-0 run that included two more blocks, UCSB was in striking distance at 21-17. It proved too much ground to make-up however, as Pacific was able to capture the set win at 25-20.
Set three saw nine tied scores and three lead changes as the two teams battled for the advantage. Tied 19-19, DeHoog landed a kill and then assisted Lily Lopez on a block to give UCSB a two-point advantage. The attack was all DeHoog the rest of the way as her three kills carried the Gauchos to the 25-21 victory and the 2-1 advantage.
The fourth set was perhaps the most closely contested as the teams were tied 14 times and the lead switched hands on six occasions. The Tigers took a timeout with the set tied 20-20 and a kill from Meagan MimMack followed by an ace from Engelhardt separated Pacific by two points. A Gaucho attack error put them ahead 23-20 before UCSB climbed back into the set with back-to-back kills from McLaughlin topped off with a Saraceno ace. Unfortunately for the Gauchos, consecutive kills from Anderson sealed the Tiger win at 25-23 and sent the match into the fifth and deciding set.
The Tigers jumped out to a 5-2 lead at the beginning of the frame causing UCSB to call a timeout. It was an effective break as UCSB came out and went on a 5-0 run behind the serving of Saraceno. The Gauchos held the lead until Pacific put together a run of its own and deadlocked things at 10-10 and then took the lead at 13-10. UCSB climbed back within one when DeHoog landed a kill during the first match-point, but a service error on the next play did the Gauchos in as they fell 15-13 in the set and 3-2 in the match.
UCSB will complete its two-match home stand on Saturday when they host Big West foe UC Davis at 7 p.m. in the Thunderdome.