October 28, 2010

First-Place Gauchos Will Battle Second-Place Fullerton, Long Beach This Weekend

Oct. 28, 2010

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• The Schedule
Friday, October 29, 2010 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara at Cal State Fullerton (17-5, 6-2)
at CSUF's Titan Gym (4,000)
Series record vs. the Titans - 55-5
Streak - Lost 1
Last time out vs. the Titans - L, 3-0 (10/2/10)
Match broadcast live via Internet radio
Match televised live on BigWest.TV

Saturday, October 30, 2010 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara at Long Beach State (16-5, 6-2)
at LBSU's Walter Pyramid (5,000)
Series record vs. the 49ers - 35-57
Streak - Won 2
Last time out vs. the 49ers - W, 3-2 (10/1/10)
Match televised live on BigWest.TV
Match broadcast live via Internet radio
Match available with live stats via Gametracker

• First Place
With its first weekend sweep since Sept. 24-25, UC Santa Barbara moved into sole possession of first place in the Big West with a 7-2 conference record. The Gauchos lead both Long Beach State and Cal State Fullerton - this coming weekend's two opponents - by a half-game in the conference. UCSB has not won an outright league title since 2004, though the Gauchos tied for first place with Long Beach State in 2005.

• Win One for the Kipper
Senior Kasey Kipp had one of her best outings in a Gaucho uniform on Saturday in the win over Cal State Northridge when she hit .692 (nine kills, 0 errors, 13 attempts) while totaling 10 blocks (two solo, eight assisted). As a result of her weekend - Kipp also hit .412 in Friday's win - the senior from Newport Beach, Calif. is now fifth in the Big West with a .339 hitting percentage. That is easily her best in a season after hitting a previous-high .260 last year. Kipp is averaging 1.77 kills per set this season and a team-high 0.85 blocks per set.

• V is For Vargas
Not long after tallying a career-best with 63 assists on Oct. 9 at Cal Poly, senior setter Dana Vargas set another personal best with nine kills (in 10 attempts) in the win over UC Irvine. Vargas nearly had her first career triple-double as she also had 48 assists and eight digs. The Seal Beach, Calif. native averages 10.70 assists per set, which ranks her 39th nationally and she has 4,423 career assists, which is third in UCSB history. In conference play, Vargas has been even more philanthropic in Big West matches, dishing out 11.36 assists per set. She has posted 10 double-doubles this season after nabbing another one on Saturday and she is fifth on the Gauchos with a 2.43 digs per set average, which would be a career-high. Her previous best was a 2.15 dig per set average she tallied during her freshman season.

• RPI Report
UCSB is No. 51 in the latest NCAA Ratings Percentage Index. UCSB is the third-highest Big West team behind its two upcoming opponents - LBSU at No. 24 and CSUF at No. 36. Both of those teams are receiving votes in the AVCA Top-25 poll.

Stacey Schmidt Swings, Swats and Serves
Junior opposite/middle blocker Stacey Schmidt has been the team's best attacker in conference play, averaging 3.36 kills per set and a .285 hitting percentage, both of which rank her seventh in the Big West. Overall, Schmidt is averaging 3.07 kills per set, which is 10th in the Big West, while hitting .318, which has her ranked eighth in the conference. While the Huntington Beach, Calif. native has been shifted to opposite in recent matches, she has still been a force at the net, leading the Gauchos with her 69 total blocks - an average of 0.82 per set. Schmidt's 21 service aces also lead the team and her 0.25 per set rank 10th in the conference.

• Char Broiler
Senior outside hitter Charlene DeHoog enjoyed her 13th match this season in which she recorded double-digit kills with a team-high 10 on Saturday and it was the 12 time she led the team in that category. DeHoog ranks eighth in the Big West with her 3.13 kills per set average and her 2.67 digs per set are second on the team. The senior has a team-high 896 attacks this season, which are already a career high. and if her kills and digs averages hold up, those would also be career-bests. DeHoog is averaging 3.03 kills per set and 2.83 digs per set in conference play.

• A Sherr Thing
Kara Sherrard has been a very pleasant surprise for the Gauchos this season. Taking the place of Leah Sully, who tore her anterior cruciate ligament in the first match of the season, Sherrard is third on the team in kills and fourth in digs. The Lancaster, Calif. native is averaging 2.30 kills per set (2.97 in conference action) and 2.61 digs per set (2.69 in Big West play) while tallying seven double-doubles.

• Dig Dug
Freshman Kelly Heenan has recorded double-digit digs in 12 straight matches and 16 of her past 17 matches overall. The Gauchos' libero is averaging 3.67 digs per set overall this season, which is seventh in the Big West and an impressive 4.25 in conference play, which is sixth in the Big West. The Costa Mesa, Calif. native has led UCSB in digs in 15 of 22 matches this season.

• Dig It
As a team UCSB is averaging 15.76 digs per set, which is third in the conference while the team's 17.33 dig per set average in conference play puts them on top of all the other Big West teams. UCSB has five players averaging over 2.00 digs per set this season.

• `Dome Sweet `Dome
After finishing last season 11-1 in the friendly confines of the Thunderdome, UCSB plays four of its next six matches at home and is 3-1 in the `Dome this season. UCSB's all-time record in the Thunderdome is 222-67 (.768).

• Third is Not The Word
While UCSB closed out its weekend with a sweep of Cal State Northridge, the Gauchos have had a tough time in three-set matches and the third set, period. UCSB is just 4-6 in three-set matches and is only 8-14 in the third set this season (see chart, left).

• Solid Start
Santa Barbara has opened Big West play at 7-2, marking the team's best start to conference play since opening 8-1 in conference play in 2005. That 2005 squad finished the year 21-9 overall and 12-2 in the Big West.

• In Her Sights
UCSB's legendary head coach, Kathy Gregory, is fourth all-time amongst active Division I coaches with 844 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.

• Stay in Touch With the Gauchos
UCSB players are frequently updating Gaucho fans about the team through the school's website - UCSBgauchos.com, or by clicking here. 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.

The Intercollegiate Athletics Ticket Office has two parking spaces adjacent to the building and is now open on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., making it easier than ever for fans to purchase tickets. The two parking spots, designated specifically for the Ticket Office, are also available during weekday hours, which are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The Gaucho Fund, launched as part of the Dare to Be Great strategic plan, is UCSB Athletics' annual giving program to provide vital funding support for scholarships, academic success and leadership development for Gaucho student-athletes. The Gaucho Fund is the anchor to the Dare to Be Great campaign.

GKids is the official kids club of UCSB Athletics. Members receive a free GKids t-shirt, free admittance to tons of Gaucho games, opportunities to be ball boys and girls at games, a special birthday greeting from Olie (the GKids mascot) and much, much more! For more information on GKids, or to become a member, please click here.