Nov. 11, 2006
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The UC Santa Barbara women's volleyball team staged a dramatic comeback Saturday evening as they recovered from a two-game deficit to defeat Big West Conference foe Cal State Northridge in five games, 27-30, 24-30, 30-15, 30-22, 15-11, in front of a crowd of 370 in the Thunderdome. The match served as the last home contest of the 2006 season as well as the final home appearance by UCSB seniors Jamie Garbisch, Emily Hendrickson and Olivia Waldowski.
With the win, the Gaucho record is lifted to 16-11 overall and they end the Big West season with an 8-6 conference mark. Northridge falls to 15-10 overall and 6-6 in conference with two more BWC pairings left on its schedule this season.
Waldowski led all players with 20 kills on the night and posted a team-high .341 clip on the evening. The Irvine, Calif. native also put away two aces and notched three block assists. Garbisch was second on the team with 16 kills and 15 digs for her twelfth double-double of the season and she also had a match-leading four aces.
Sophomore Lauren McLaughlin tallied her second double-double of the weekend with 14 kills and 20 digs. Brett Quirarte rounded out the list of double-kill performances with 11 on the evening and she also led the Gauchos with five total blocks on the night (one solo, four assisted).
Freshman Stephanie Brandt posted 59 assists against the Matadors and also collected 14 digs for a double-double of her own, marking her sixth this season. Hendrickson rounded out the Gaucho leader board with 37 digs for UCSB.
Darla Donaldson led the Matador attack with 12 kills on the evening and an impressive 10 blocks (two solo, eight assisted). Angela Hupp posted 10 kills and a team-leading 26 assists while Val Kepler also tallied 10 kills and a team leading .563 clip after committing only one error on 16 attempts. Siara Grayson rounded out the double-digit kill performances with 11 on the evening and Harmony Burdine had a team-high 29 digs.
Northridge jumped out to an early lead in game one posting five straight points before Garbisch put away two back-to-back kills to get the Gauchos in the game. UCSB continued to struggle and the Matadors used four kills and two straight service aces from Kelley Hanson to get out to a 15-7 lead forcing the Gauchos into a timeout. UCSB came out of the timeout and began to stage a comeback with a 10-5 run to cut the Matador lead to three points at 20-17.
Each team matched points for the remainder of the match, but the Matadors were able to seal the win on a Gaucho hitting error, ending the frame at 30-27. Northridge outhit UCSB .127 to .093 in the game. Donaldson led the attack with four kills for the Matadors while Waldowski had a game-high five kills and a service ace.
The two teams traded ties early in the second frame until the game reached 11-11. The Matadors then posted four straight points to get the first sizeable lead of the match at 15-11. UCSB played catch-up and a kill from Quirarte brought the Gauchos within one at 21-19, but that would be the closest they would come as Northridge posted a 10-5 run to take the frame at 30-24.
Donaldson once again led the Matadors with five kills in game two, while Garbisch spearheaded the Gaucho effort with six kills and two aces. UCSB saw its worst team hitting in the second frame as the Matadors outhit them .235 to .075.
Trailing 2-0, UCSB came out of the locker rooms swinging. The Gauchos quickly grabbed the lead and never looked back as Waldowski put down seven kills to lead UCSB as they outhit Northridge .227 to -.040 to take the third frame 30-15. The Matadors' 15 points is the fewest allowed by the Gauchos this season outside of a fifth game.
The Gaucho momentum continued into the next game as UCSB broke a 4-4 tie at the beginning of the frame with a 9-1 run which featured four kills by Quirarte. Ahead 13-5, UCSB continued to break away eventually bringing its lead to 29-19. Northridge did not roll over and continued to fight as they posted four straight points, but the late run was quickly extinguished when Quirarte sealed the game with a kill at 30-22.
UCSB was once again able to capture an early lead in the final frame, quickly tallying a 7-2 run. The Gauchos extended their lead to 11-5 thanks to several Matador errors and a Garbisch kill, but Northridge began to chip away as they posted four straight points to come within two at 11-9. UCSB hung on and a block by Quirarte and Rebecca Saraceno sealed the game at 15-11 for the 3-2 match win, marking the first time this season that the Gauchos were able to come back after trailing two games to none.
UCSB will hit the road next week for a single match against future Big West foe UC Davis on Friday, November 17 at 7 p.m. in the Aggies' Pavilion.