The UCSB women’s volleyball team split its weekend match-ups, losing 3-0 Saturday night to No. 8 Hawaii after defeating Cal State Northridge 3-0 Friday.
UCSB dropped to 9-11 overall and 2-3 in the Big West while Hawaii improved to 14-2 overall and a perfect 7-0 in the Big West.
“We just came out very passive and not our usual aggressive manner [against Hawaii],” junior opposite Katey Thompson said. “We were a bit tentative and we didn’t execute on plays that we needed to execute. We just need to take this loss, look within ourselves and be able to come out fighting for this upcoming week.”
The Rainbow Wahine took the first two sets of the night on decisive victories, winning 25-13 and 25-16. In the third set, Santa Barbara fought back from an 18-11 deficit to bring the score within two points at 23-21, but ultimately fell 25-21. Junior outside hitter Emily Hartong led Hawaii with 16 kills on the night.
“I think they saw that we played well last night so they were ready to play and we just couldn’t get our offense in gear,” Head Coach Kathy Gregory said. “When you don’t have any offense and they have so many attackers, they sort of took the heart out of us.”
On Friday night, the Gauchos captured their second Big West win, defeating Cal State Northridge in three sets, 25-23, 25-22, 25-16 and in the process knocked the Matadors down to 12-6 overall and 3-3 in the Big West.
In the second set, the Gauchos fell behind. They were down 14-20, but scored 11 of the next 13 points to make a comeback that kick-started a run that would last throughout the second and third set.
“We’ve been a comeback team the whole season; we usually have a slow start and I think we all believed in each other that we could come back and win that game,” junior outside hitter Leah Sully said. “Once things started falling into place, the rest was history.”
Sully had double digit kills and digs with 16 and 13, respectively, as well as two service aces. In addition, freshman libero Taylor Formico set the record for UCSB for most digs in a season by a freshman with 418. With her 18 on the night, she surpassed Kelly Heenan by four digs. Sophomore setter Ali Santi recorded 16 digs on the night as well and had 36 assists, leading to the Gauchos compiling 47 assists on the night.
“We never gave up, we never let up and we never got comfortable,” junior outside hitter Kara Sherrard said. “We constantly were motivated, like every point was the last point.”
Coming up next for the Gauchos is a road trip to UC Davis, Friday, Oct. 12.