November 15, 2008

Gauchos Unable to Overcome UC Irvine, Drop Fourth Straight

Nov. 15, 2008

Box Score

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The UC Santa Barbara women's volleyball team suffered its fourth consecutive loss on Saturday evening as it fell to visiting Big West foe UC Irvine via 25-16, 19-25, 25-22, 25-17 set scores at the Thunderdome.

With the loss, UCSB falls to 10-15 overall and 6-8 in the Big West. The Anteaters improve to 15-12 overall and 10-4 in conference matches. The Gauchos must win their remaining two conference matches to avoid finishing the 2008 Big West schedule with a sub-.500 record for the second straight season.

Senior Lauren McLaughlin led all players with 19 kills during the match. She hit a solid .386 across the four sets (2e, 44att) and also tallied 12 digs for her 10th double-double of the season. The outside hitter also posted two service aces in the loss.

Junior Rebecca Saraceno was the only other Gaucho to register double-digit kills with 10 during the match.

Sophomore setter Dana Vargas tallied 28 assists, five digs and two block assists, along with a match-high three service aces. Her classmate Jessica Welch chipped in 10 assists. Senior libero Leigh Stephenson led all players with 23 digs during the match and also had two aces.

For the Anteaters, Alexandra Filkins posted 12 kills and a .579 clip (1e, 19att), while also posting 10 digs and two blocks. Lauren Kellerman posted a double-double (13 kills, 12 digs), as did Kari Pestolesi (11 kills, 11 digs). Setter Taryn Robertson dished out 41 assists and libero Devon Sutherland had 19 digs in the win.

In the first set, the two teams traded five early ties before the Anteaters broke an 8-8 tie with a 3-0 run to take the first sizeable lead of the match. The Gauchos were able to climb back within one point on three occasions before Irvine distanced itself with a 3-0 run followed by a 6-0 run that brought the Anteaters to set point at 24-15. A Gaucho service error ended the set at 25-16. Kellerman led all players with five kills in the set as UCI outhit UCSB .257 to .023.

The Gauchos were able to bounce back in set two and, after battling through nine tie scores, they were able to break-up a 10-10 deadlock on back-to-back kills from McLaughlin. The Anteaters battled back and tied the match again at 12-12, but the Gauchos posed a 4-0 run to once again command the set. UCSB held tight to the lead, letting Irvine come no closer than two points down the stretch on its way to the 25-19 set win. Saraceno posted six kills and McLaughlin had five as the Gauchos' posted a match-best .387 clip (17k, 5e, 31att) during the frame.

The Anteaters took the lead early in set three and held on for the 25-22 victory. Despite outhitting the Anteaters .286 to .194 during the set, UCSB was unable to capture the victory. The serving was the difference maker as UCI tallied four aces while the Gauchos committed four service errors, contributing to the Anteater cause.

Irvine broke a 3-3 tie with a 5-0 run to open the fourth frame. From that point forward, the Anteaters controlled the set. The final set saw UCI post a .279 collective hitting percentage (15k, 3e, 43att) on its way to the 25-17 victory and the 3-1 match win.

UCSB will be back in action on Friday, Nov. 21 when they travel to UC Irvine for another Big West match-up. The match is scheduled for a 7 p.m. start at the Anteaters' Crawford Court.

- UCSBgauchos.com -