• The Schedule
Friday, November 10, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. PDT
UC Santa Barbara vs. UC Irvine (21-4, 9-3 Big West)
at the Thunderdome
Stream: Big West TV
All-time record vs. Anteaters: 71-14
Record in Lantagne Welch era: 4-4
Streak vs. UCI: Lost 1
2016: UCSB went 1-1 against UC Irvine
Last meeting: L, 3-0 (11/23/16 @ UCSB)
Saturday, November 11, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. PDT
UC Santa Barbara vs. UC Davis (15-11, 7-6 Big West)
at the Thunderdome
Stream: Big West TV
All-time record vs. Aggies: 21-8
Record in Lantagne Welch era: 5-4
Streak vs. UCD: Won 3
2016: UCSB went 2-0 against UC Davis
Last meeting: W, 3-1 (10/17/17 @ UCD)
• Up Next
This week, UC Santa Barbara concludes its home schedule with contests against UC Irvine on Friday night and UC Davis on Saturday night, with both matches scheduled for 7:00 p.m. starts at the Thunderdome. The Gauchos' two seniors – defensive specialist Sydney Bast and outside hitter Chanel Hoffman – will be honored before Saturday's tilt. UCSB concludes its 2017 season with three road contests following this weekend.
• Parking Advisory
Due to campus observing Veterans Day on Friday, Nov. 10, parking on campus will be free for that day. However, normal policies, rates, and enforcement will be in place for Saturday's match.
• Gauchos on the Air
Both of UCSB's matches this week, and all league matches this season, will be streamed live through Big West TV. In addition, the Gauchos are set to make a third appearance on ESPN3 for Nov. 18's contest at UC Riverside. Links to all broadcasts can be found on the women's volleyball schedule page on UCSBGauchos.com.
• Ruddins Takes The National Lead in Kills
Another new week brought yet another honor for UCSB's Lindsey Ruddins, as she officially leap-frogged Arkansas's Pilar Victoria for the national lead in kills per set, 5.68 to 5.67. Ruddins had narrowed the gap with Victoria with a stretch of dominant play that includes six consecutive 20+ kill performances, and finally overtook her over the weekend. No Gaucho has ever finished a season as the national kills leader, and only five have even led the Big West at the end of a campaign. The reigning Big West Freshman of the Year also paces the NCAA in attacks per set at 14.91. Her consistent production has been punctuated by dominant offensive performances throughout the season. On Oct. 24, she was named the AVCA National Player of the Week and Big West Player of the Week (for the second time this season) after leading the Gauchos to a 3-0 week with victories over UC Davis, Long Beach State, and CSUN. Against that trio, she had 20 or more kills in each match including 27 against LBSU (a season-high against a Big West opponent), recorded a pair of double-doubles, and hit a robust .300 for the week. Her nod from the AVCA made her the first Gaucho since 2009 to earn National Player of the Week honors and just the sixth ever in program history. She has led the Gauchos in kills for 12 straight matches and 18 times out of her 19 appearances this season. Earlier this year, she set a UCSB rally scoring era record with 36 kills against No. 15 Florida State, narrowly missing out on the program's all-time mark (38) set by Roberta Gehlke in 1999. Those 36 kills remain the most by any NCAA player in a single match this season. Last but not least, UCSB is hitting over 100 points higher with her in the lineup (.200) than without (.096).
• The Week in Review
The Gauchos played just one match last week, dropping a hard-fought four-set decision to Blue-Green rival Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, Calif. UCSB star outside Lindsey Ruddins dropped 26 kills against the No. 23 Mustangs, while setter Annie Hasselmann had a career-high 54 assists and nine digs. However, the hosts outhit UCSB .274 to .238 and had four players reach double-digit kills, led by Torrey Van Winden's 20 putdowns.
• Annie Hassle-ing the Opposition
In her third season at UCSB, Annie Hasselmann is affecting the game in other ways besides her solid setting (10.46 assists per set in Big West play, fourth among league players), as the San Diego native has torched opponents from the service line to the tune of 0.40 aces per game, second-most in the league. That includes a career-high six aces Oct. 28 against UH, which is tied for the most single-match aces by a Big West player in 2017. Hasselmann has now recorded an ace in 10 straight matches, the longest such streak by a Gaucho in the entire Lantagne Welch era (since 2013). A factor in all facets of the game, she leads all Big West setters in blocking (0.64 per set) and ranks second in kills (0.87 per set, .07 behind league-leader Taylor Nelson of Cal Poly).
• Omwanghe Emerging
Despite being a true freshman, middle blocker Nicole Omwanghe has more than held her own for the Gauchos this season, posting 124 kills on .259 hitting with 0.97 blocks per set. She has upped her game in conference play with a .289 hitting percentage and 1.11 blocks per game, a figure which ranks third in the entire league. In Big West action, she is one of just two players (UH's Emily Maglio the other) who ranks in the top-10 for both hitting percentage (eighth) and blocking average (third). The Claremont, Calif. native has been a Big West Freshman of the Week selection twice this season (Sept. 25 and Oct. 23) and has been a nominee four times.
• All-Around Game
UCSB has played some of its best volleyball during its Big West slate, leading to top-three ranks among all league teams in serving (1.82 aces per game, league-high), digs (15.77 per game, also a league-best), and blocking (2.19, third). The Gauchos were the only team able to boast being top-three in each of those categories until Hawaii joined them last week.
• Petrachi Anchoring the Back Line
One of the most experienced players on the team, junior libero Emilia Petrachi has been a rock for UCSB in the back row. The Modena, Italy native is second in the league with a 4.80 digs per set average, up from her career average of 4.68. Earlier in league play, Petrachi had 28 digs in just three sets against Cal State Fullerton, which the highest of any Big West player in a three-set match this season, a personal career-high for a three-setter, and just two off her overall career high of 30 (Aug. 29, 2015 vs. Pepperdine), which took her four sets to amass.
• Lantagne Welch Earns Career Win Number 300
UCSB's 3-0 victory over UC Riverside on Sept. 22 gave head coach Nicole Lantagne Welch the 300th win of her esteemed career. In her 17th season overall as a head coach (12 years at Miami), she is the winningest active coach in the Big West (304 career wins).