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Thrilling Return to Thunderdome for Gauchos



The UCSB women’s volleyball team had an undefeated weekend, ousting Pacific on Friday 3-1 and UC Davis 3-2 on Saturday in a dramatic fashion. The Gauchos are now 10-6 overall and 3-1 in the Big West.

After UCSB and UCD traded the first four sets, the Gauchos were one point away from a loss, trailing 14-11 in the decisive fifth set. UCSB then scored four straight points to take its first lead of the set.

“We found our rhythm at the end,” Head Coach Kathy Gregory said. “When you come back from 14-11, it doesn’t get any sweeter than that.”

Davis could have put the Gauchos away serving game point, but junior outside hitter Allison Whitson had a service error and allowed junior defensive specialist Erica Lau to sub in.

“When Erica came in to serve and we started running off a few points it was really great,” sophomore outside hitter Leah Sully said. “The team came together at the end.”

Senior Lily Lopez set a career high with 17 kills, and freshman setter Hanna Nielson had a career high 59 assists.

In their first home game of the season on Friday, the Gauchos jumped out to a 2-0 lead against Pacific, before dropping the third set 22-25. In the fourth set, UCSB effectively killed any chance for a comeback with an emphatic 25-6 win to take the set and match.

Pacific (10-7 overall, 1-3 Big West) had no answer for Sully’s career night. Sully, who missed last year due to a torn ACL.

Sully totaled 17 kills and 18 digs, earning her 11th double-double of the season. Sophomore outside hitter Kara Sherrard also had a double-double with 14 kills and 11 digs.

“We needed that win to start the weekend right,” Schmidt said.

UCSB travels to Loyola Marymount this Friday and resumes Big West play at UC Irvine on Saturday.

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