Nov. 24, 2007
LONG BEACH, Calif. - Junior libero Leigh Stephenson set a new UC Santa Barbara record for digs in a single season Saturday afternoon as the Gauchos defeated first-time opponent Yale, 30-20, 25-30, 20-30, 30-28, 15-13 at the Baden Thanksgiving Classic being hosted by Long Beach State at Walter Pyramid this weekend.
With the win, UCSB improves to 13-18 on the season while Yale, an Ivy League team, falls to 17-9.
Stephenson, who needed just four digs heading into today's match to set the school record, tallied 28 digs versus the Bulldogs. The previous single season dig record was set by Emily Hendrickson last season. Stephenson and Hendrickson are the only two Gauchos to surpass 600 scoops in a single season.
As a team, the Gauchos posted 110 digs in the match and Yale had 106. The 110 digs ranks as the fifth most by a UCSB team in the rally scoring era. Sophomore Rebecca Saraceno led all players with 29 scoops, a career-high. The outside hitter also had nine kills and four aces, giving her seven aces so far this weekend.
Junior Lauren McLaughlin led the UCSB attack with 19 kills and she posted her 21st double-double of the season with 20 digs. The Torrance, Calif. native also had four total blocks and two aces during the match.
Freshman setter Dana Vargas posted a career-best 62 assists and also chipped in nine digs and five block assists.
Yale's Alexis Crusey posted 21 kills and 24 digs in the match. The Bulldogs had three other players with double-digit kills. Setter Ally Mendenhall had a match-high 67 assists with 16 digs while Kelly Ozurovich had a match-best 31 digs.
The Bulldogs outhit the Gauchos in the match .234 to .173 and also collected 12 more kills. UCSB was able to capitalize on Yale's 15 service errors and also out-dug and outblocked its opposition.
UCSB will conclude the 2007 season with a match against Pittsburgh at 5 p.m. this evening at Walter Pyramid.