With its eyes set on attaining a playoff spot, the UCSB women’s volleyball team defeated conference opponent Pacific, sweeping the Tigers 3-0 Friday night. The Gauchos also went on to defeat Cal State Northridge in a come-from-behind victory Saturday evening.

Pacific (7-18 overall, 3-9 in the Big West), which went down in three straight games for the second time this season against Santa Barbara (16-11, 8-6 Big West), was dominated in the first game beginning with a 3-0 deficit early on. With a 6-1 and 8-1 run, the Gauchos pulled away to take the game 30-22, out-hitting the Tigers .296 to .184. Seniors middle blocker Olivia Waldowski and outside hitter Jamie Garbisch led the frame with eight and seven kills, respectively.

“Having two wins this weekend will help us a lot,” Garbisch said. “We beat Wisconsin – who is ranked pretty high – and Pepperdine earlier this season, and we aren’t sure, but if we win the rest of our games, we should get in [the playoffs].”

The second game was more competitive, with 12 early ties on the scoreboard, until UCSB went on a 12-4 run led by three kills from sophomore outsider hitter Lauren McLaughlin. The Gauchos reached game point, but Pacific refused to give up, scoring twice until Garbisch put the Gauchos up 2-0 in the match with a kill to end the game 30-24.

UCSB came out on top to begin game three until the Tigers tied it at 12. Pacific climbed to a 25-21 lead until the Gauchos rallied with a 4-0 run to again knot the score at 25 a piece. Pacific fell apart soon after, committing four consecutive errors that gave Santa Barbara the game and the match.

Waldowski led her team with 16 kills and two blocks on the night, while only committing one error, putting up a hitting percentage of .682. Garbisch had 13 kills on the night and McLaughlin put up a double-double by way of 10 kills and 15 digs. Freshman setter Stephanie Brandt put up a match-high 53 assists.

Saturday’s matchup with Northridge (15-10, 6-6 Big West) marked the final home game of the season for the Gauchos and for the collegiate careers of seniors libero Emily Hendrickson, Garbisch and Waldowski. Down 2-0, the Gauchos came out of the locker room for the third game immediately following a lengthy talk from Head Coach Kathy Gregory. Santa Barbara was then able to hold Northridge to just 15 points, the fewest the Gauchos have allowed all season in a 30-point set. The Gauchos out-hit the Matadors .227 to .040 in the game.

“[Gregory] gave us quite a speech in between the second and third game, and we came out fired up and ready to win,” Garbisch said.

UCSB continued to dominate in the next three games, preserving early leads to come back from a two-game deficit for the first time this season.

Waldowski led the night with 20 kills and two aces, while Garbisch had her 12th double-double of the season with 16 kills and 15 digs, and also slammed a match-best four service aces.

The Gauchos’ two wins begin a desperate late-season run to secure a playoff spot – one they can only guarantee by winning the remainder of their games, all of which are on the road. The team faces UC Davis this Friday and will compete against Albany and Western Michigan University at Long Beach State over Thanksgiving Break.