Coming off an exceptionally difficult preseason, the UCSB women’s volleyball team (4-6 overall) looks to change its current pace when taking on rival Cal Poly to extend its current 10-match winning streak against the Mustangs.

While Santa Barbara has already doubled the number of losses from last year, Cal Poly (7-3 overall, 0-1 in the Big West) has already surpassed the five wins it posted in the 2004 season.

“The tough schedule will definitely help us be prepared to play in the league,” UCSB Head Coach Kathy Gregory said. “The teams we played are a step ahead of the league … although we weren’t able to beat all the teams we faced, we’re pretty comparable to most of the league teams.”

Prior to last Tuesday’s loss to Northridge, Cal Poly was rolling on a seven-match win streak. The Mustangs took the Matadors to four sets before losing their first conference match.

“Cal Poly has a new coach and a new system,” Gregory said. “They are going to be tough to beat this year, but we are still trying to work things out, since we’re a team in transition. We’re trying to learn to compete and be consistent.”

Last weekend in a tournament hosted by #3 Stanford, the Gauchos cycled through a new starting lineup to find a successful rotation. Against the Cardinal, UCSB had several individual players establish season-highs.

Junior outside hitter Janine Sandell posted 19 kills and 11 digs, freshman outside hitter Lauren McLaughlin served up a career-high 11 kills and 19 digs, and the lone senior middle blocker Megan Blackshire delivered 13 kills.

“We played well against Stanford, it was probably our best match,” Gregory said. “We switched up the lineup and moved Emily Hendrickson, our outside hitter to libero… Lauren is starting as our outside hitter and Janine went to opposite hitter. This lineup will probably make us successful and we’re working it out and trying to find consistency.”

UCSB heads into the Big West play on a three-game losing streak in the non-conference schedule, but looks to change that and snap Cal Poly’s successful streak in San Luis Obispo.

“The main thing we have to do is not take them for granted and play down to their level,” Sandell said. “We have to take care of our side of the net, no matter who’s on the other side. We have all the components and the problem is getting them all to click together.”

First serve will be at Mott Gym in San Louis Obispo at 7 p.m. on Saturday.