UC SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The UC Santa Barbara women's volleyball team won its ninth straight match and stayed perfect in September with a nail-biting, up and down, 3-2 (25-9, 23-25, 17-25, 25-23, 15-9) five set victory over CSUN to begin Big West Conference play on Tuesday night in the Thunderdome.
Lindsey Ruddins led the way with 20 kills and was one of four Gauchos in double figures in the match. Tallulah Froley finished with 15 kills on .370 hitting while middle blockers Rowan Ennis (13 kills) and Deni Wilson (10 kills) were especially efficient, hitting .600 (13-1-20) and .500 (10-3-14), respectively.
As a team, UCSB (11-1) hit .312 for the match, including an unconscious .458 clip in the first set that allowed the Gauchos to cruise to a 25-9 game one victory. CSUN (5-8) piled up 10 errors in the first frame and hit -.200.
After a dominant opening, Santa Barbara looked to take a two-set advantage and led late in the second, 22-20. CSUN stunned the Gauchos and silenced the Thunderdome with a 5-1 run, keyed by back-to-back blocks from Lauryn Anderson, to even the match at 1-1.
The Matadors carried the momentum all the way through the third set, hitting .292 to the Gauchos .118, winning 25-17 to take a 2-1 lead.
Having been in this position multiple times already this season, UCSB kept its composure and bounced back in a big way to win the fourth and fifth sets.
Trailing 17-14 in the fourth and looking to avoid a defeat in four sets, Tasia Farmer and Wilson highlighted a 5-0 run for UCSB to completely shift the momentum of the match. CSUN came back to regain its lead at 21-20, but three straight points on two kills from Froley and another from Ruddins put the Gauchos back on top. With the score 24-23, Froley and Ennis teamed up for a big block to force a fifth and decisive set.
UCSB jumped out to a 4-1 lead behind two more kills from Froley in the fifth, but found itself in a close game at 8-7. Olivia Lovenberg was instrumental for the Gauchos down the stretch with a clutch service ace and a dump off for a kill to put UCSB ahead 13-8. Needing just two more points, Lovenberg set up Wilson for a kill followed by Ruddins to complete the comeback.
Lovenberg finished with a season-high 37 assists while Romoni Vivao added 24 in the time share. Zoe Fleck led the team with 16 digs while Ruddins and Torre Glasker chipped in nine apiece. At the net, Wilson and Froley contributed four total blocks apiece while Ennis added three. Farmer tallied eight kills.
Nicole Nevarez led CSUN with 17 kills and 11 digs.
UCSB continues conference action this weekend on the road with a match on Friday, Sept. 27 at 7:00 p.m. against UC Irvine.
Article courtesy of UCSB Sports Information