UCSB Wins 10th Straight With Sweep of UC Irvine

Olivia Lovenberg (Photo by Tony Mastres)
Olivia Lovenberg (Photo by Tony Mastres)

IRVINE, Calif. – The UC Santa Barbara women's volleyball team won its 10th straight match on Friday night after sweeping past UC Irvine 3-0 (25-19, 25-11, 25-21) at the Bren Events Center.

Lindsey Ruddins reached double figures with a game-high 10 kills for the Gauchos (12-1, 2-0 Big West), who are enjoying the program's longest winning streak since the 2004 Gauchos won 13 in-a-row. Tallulah Froley finished with nine kills while Gigi Ruddins followed with eight on .667 (8-0-12) hitting. Rowan Ennis was a factor at the net all night with five of the team's 13 blocks.  

Playing on the road for the first time in three weeks did not faze Santa Barbara as they combined for a .304 (44-13-102) hitting percentage while UC Irvine hit just .051 (25-20-99) with 20 errors.

The Gauchos pulled out a close first set with four straight points after leading 21-19. Froley and Ruddins combined for three kills during the run before Zoe Fleck finished it off with an ace.

That carried UCSB into a dominant second set, jumping out to an 8-3 lead and ultimately winning 25-11, taking advantage of nine UCI attacking errors.

Getting more efficient as the match went on, the Gauchos hit .394 with 17 kills in the third and went on another late run to seal the match. Tied 20-20, UCSB went on a 5-1 spree sparked by kills from Deni Wilson and Froley, and capped off by three big plays from L. Ruddins. The 6-foot-2 senior came up with a big solo block, followed by a kill of her own, and teamed up with Ennis for a block to end the game.

Olivia Lovenberg and Romoni Vivao set up the offense all night to the tune of 20 assists and 17 assists, respectively. Fleck (14 digs) and Torre Glasker (13 digs) were keys on defense while L. Ruddins finished with four blocks and Tasia Farmer added a pair to go with her seven kills.

UCSB continues Big West play on the road tomorrow, Sept. 28 at Cal State Fullerton at 5:00 p.m.