September 2, 2010

Gauchos Travel North for USF Tournament

Sept. 2, 2010

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• The Schedule
Friday, September 3, 2010 at 7:00 p.m.
USF Powerade/Asics Challenge
UC Santa Barbara at University of San Francisco (0-3)
at USF's War Memorial Gym (5,300)
Series record vs. the Dons - 0-2
Streak - Lost 2
Last time out vs. the Dons - L, 1-3 (9/5/08)
Live stats available through USF Dons' website.

Saturday, September 4, 2010 at 9:30 a.m.
USF Powerade/Asics Challenge
UC Santa Barbara vs. Washington State (2-1)
at USF's War Memorial Gym (5,300)
Series record vs. the Cougars - 1-0
Streak - Won 1
Last time out vs. the Cougars - W, 3-0 (9/13/91)

Saturday, September 4, 2010 at 5:00 p.m.
USF Powerade/Asics Challenge
UC Santa Barbara vs. Tulsa (1-2)
at USF's War Memorial Gym (5,300)
Series record vs. the Hurricane - First-ever meeting
Streak - N/A
Last time out vs. the Hurricane - N/A

• Sully Out For Year
Starting outside hitter Leah Sully tore her left anterior cruciate ligament in UC Santa Barbara's first match of the season, last Friday vs. No. 11 Cal. Sully, who played in every one of the Gauchos' sets in 2009, will be lost for the season. The Irvine, Calif. native led UCSB in service aces last season, including a school-record seven against UC Irvine. UCSB will likely rotate sophomore Mimi Cuttrell and freshmen Katey Thompson, Kara Sherrard and Jenna Wilson through Sully's spot.

• Sharp Swingin' Stacey
Junior middle blocker Stacey Schmidt has been the Gauchos' best hitter through three games this season. Schmidt is averaging 3.00 kills per set and is swinging at an incredible .451 clip. The native of Huntington Beach, Calif. was named to the Cal Molten All-Tournament Team and on Monday she led the Gauchos with 10 kills vs. Cincinnati. Schmidt is also UCSB's leader in blocks, with an average of 1.11 per set (10 total block assists). Last season Schmidt was third in the conference with her .330 hitting percentage and was a First Team All-Big West selection.

• Poll Position
UCSB is receiving votes in the AVCA poll for the second straight week, and a string of 15 straight weeks dating back to last year. The last time UCSB was in the Top-25 was Sept. 12, 2005 when the team was No. 24.

• Valuable Vargas
2009 All-American Dana Vargas, who was named to the Cal Molten All-Tournament Team, currently ranks fourth all-time in UCSB history with 3,614 career assists and is just 283 away from tying Chrissy Boehle (1991-94) for third all-time in school annals. The Seal Beach, Calif. native ended the 2009 campaign with an average of 10.90 assists per set, which ranked 40th in the nation. There is a chance the senior could become just the third setter in UCSB history to reach 5,000 assists, joining Liz Towne (1985-88) and Brooke Rundle (1998-2001) as the only setters at UCSB to reach the mark.

• Char Broiler
Senior outside hitter Charlene DeHoog has posted the Gauchos' highest kill total of the season (11 vs. Manhattan) and has been solid all the way around through the team's first three matches. The native of Bakersfield, Calif. is second on the team with 22 total kills (2.44 per set) and has also picked up 19 digs, which is third-most on the squad. DeHoog also has two of the Gauchos' three solo blocks thus far this season and is third on the team with seven total blocks.

• Lookin' Good, Lily
Middle blocker Lily Lopez has been nothing if not consistent through the Gauchos' three matches this season. She has tallied six, seven and seven kills, respectively, and is third on the team with 20 total kills and a 2.22 average per set. Lopez, who is also hitting .265, has the second-most blocks on the team with one solo and eight block assists for an average of 1.00 per set.

• Everyone, Meet Kara. Kara, Everyone ...
After redshirting last season, Kara Sherrard has made her presence on the court known thus far this year well known. The Lancaster, Calif. native has averaged 2.00 kills per set and 2.75 digs per set in her first collegiate action. Her 22 total digs are tied for second-most on the team.

• Can You Dig It? She Can
Chelsey Lowe leads UCSB with her 3.44 digs per match and had a team season-high 12 digs vs. Manhattan. Lowe, who hails from Yorba Linda, Calif. is also the team's leader with three service aces.

• Third is the Word
In a preseason poll among Big West coaches, UCSB was tabbed to finish third in the conference behind Long Beach State and UC Irvine, respectively. The Gauchos received one first-place vote and 65 overall points, just three behind UCI. Long Beach State received seven first-place votes and 79 total points. UCSB went 3-1 against the 49ers and Anteaters last season.

• In Her Sights
UCSB's legendary head coach, Kathy Gregory, is fourth all-time amongst active Division I coaches with 832 victories and by the end of the year could become just the sixth coach in NCAA Division I history to achieve 850 in a career. Gregory is also one of just five active coaches in women's volleyball history to coach at least 1,200 matches.

• `Dome Sweet `Dome
UCSB finished last season 11-1 in the friendly confines of the Thunderdome, marking the most by a Gaucho team at home in seven seasons. However, the loss to Cincinnati on Monday equaled Santa Barbara's home loss total from all of last season. One silver lining - the game was played in historic Rob Gym and not the Thunderdome. UCSB's all-time record in the Thunderdome is 221-66 (.770).

• Getting Defensive
Newcomer Kelly Heenan has seen the court in all nine of the Gauchos' sets in 2010 and has been a keen passer and defender out of the gates. The freshman from Costa Mesa, Calif. has averaged 2.00 digs per set, which is fourth on the team.

• Making the Cutt(rell)
Because of the injury to Sully, Mimi Cuttrell saw a lot more action in Monday's match vs. Cincinnati. The sophomore from Santa Barbara High had a career-high five kills in the loss and is expected to see much more court time this season. Cuttrell already established a career-best with three block assists in the team's sweep over Manhattan last weekend.

• Stay in Touch With the Gauchos UCSB players are frequently updating Gaucho fans about the team through the following link: http://ucsbgauchos.cstv.com/sports/w-volley/ringiton.html. Defensive specialist Katie Ring will regularly write in her "Ring it On" blog and libero Chelsey Lowe provides constant Twitter updates. Follow her at twitter.com/ucsbvolleyball.