The UCSB women’s volleyball team went 1-1 over the weekend, losing a close match to Loyola Marymount 3-2 on Friday before coming back on Saturday to defeat UC Irvine 3-0. The Gauchos (11-7 overall, 4-1 Big West) are now in sole possession of first place.
Santa Barbara controlled the tempo and won in straight sets against Irvine (6-10 overall, 1-4 Big West), never really threatened by the Anteaters. It was the team’s first straight set win since the Sept. 17 match against George Washington.
“It felt really good to win like that,” sophomore outside hitter Kara Sherrard said. “It was our first win in three games we had [in the Big West] this season. We felt really accomplished afterwards.”
Sherrard posted a double-double with 14 digs and 13 kills, but credited the whole team for a wellrounded performance.
“Everyone had a pretty awesome game,” Sherrard said. “Everyone was equally balanced and we all played to the best of our ability.”
On Friday, UCSB lost a back-and-forth match at LMU (10-8). The Gauchos fell behind early, dropping the first set 25-22 before winning the second set 25-20. LMU took the lead again with a 25-21 third set win, but the Gauchos forced a fifth set with a 25-18 win in the fourth. In the final set, UCSB pulled ahead at 15-14, before LMU ultimately scored two straight points to end the match at 19-17.
“We had two swings at game point,” Head Coach Kathy Gregory said. “It was one of the toughest losses because we sort of gave it away. We didn’t finish and we didn’t win so we learned something about finishing.”
Several Gauchos had strong performances, as sophomore outside hitters Leah Sully and Sherrard, senior right side Stacey Schmidt and freshman setter Hanna Nielson all posted double-doubles. Still, it wasn’t quite enough to win their second straight fivegame match.
“It was a really tough loss to be that close to winning,” senior libero Chelsey Lowe said. “You can’t win all the five-game matches, and we just let it slip away.”
Santa Barbara’s next match is this Wednesday at Cal Poly at 7 p.m.