The UCSB women’s volleyball team split matches this weekend, sweeping UC Riverside on Saturday and getting swept by Cal Poly on Thursday in San Luis Obispo.
The split brings the Gauchos (8-10 overall) to 4-3 in conference play, putting them in a three-way tie for fourth place in the Big West, accompanied by Cal State Fullerton (11-11) and UC Irvine (9-11). With the win, Cal Poly (11-7) is back in first place in the Big West with a 6-1 record. Number 24 Long Beach State (15-4) held first place before UC Irvine upset them in four sets at Irvine’s Crawford Court on Friday. Pacific (5-11) remains half a game ahead of the Gauchos, holding third place in the conference with a 5-3 record in the Big West.
“Everybody’s beating everybody [in the conference],” sophomore setter Dana Vargas said. “There aren’t any guarantees. It will be interesting to see the way everything pans out.”
Against Riverside, the Gauchos won 25-19, 25-18 and 28-26. In the third set, UCSB underwent eight ties and five lead changes before clinching the sweep.
“We just made sure that we went to Riverside ready to play,” Vargas said. “We concentrated on every play just to get a win on our record because we haven’t had one in a while.”
Sophomore Charlene DeHoog hit .476 on Saturday, with 10 kills on 21 attempts and no errors. Senior Lauren McLaughlin lead the Gauchos with 13 kills, two aces and eight digs in the win. McLaughlin currently leads the team in kills. Sophomore middle blocker Kasey Kipp blocked five balls and hit six kills with a .357 clip.
Riverside outside blocker Dominique Cowling led all players with 15 kill and 13 digs.
Cal Poly’s 25-17, 25-18, 25-19 sweep against UCSB marked their fifth consecutive victory over the Gauchos. The Mustangs hit .276, compared to the Gauchos .080. Kipp and McLaughlin led the team with five kills each, with McLaughlin also posting eight digs and a service ace. For Cal Poly, Ali Waller hit 13 kills and Kylie Atherstone hit 11 kills, five digs and a match high of five aces.
“Cal Poly played better than we did and it wasn’t our best match,” Vargas said. “We didn’t show up the way we had to in order to win.”
The Gauchos will host Cal State Fullerton on Friday and Cal State Northridge on Saturday at the Thunderdome, beginning a two-match homestand after going 1-2 on their road trip.