[media-credit id=20125 align=”alignleft” width=”175″][/media-credit]Over Halloween weekend, the UCSB women’s volleyball team failed to win a set in two matches, losing 3-0 to both Cal State Fullerton and and losing the top spot in the Big West.

“It was a disappointing weekend,” Head Coach Kathy Gregory said. “Overall, we did not play up to the level that we are capable of as a team.”

The team looks to get back on track tonight when it returns home to face UC Riverside in the first match of a four-game home stretch – its longest of the season.

“It’s nice for us to be returning home to the Thunderdome,” Vargas said. “We are more confident here and we will need our home fans to get our rhythm and momentum back down this home stretch.”

Riverside (2-22, 0-9) enters the game in last place in the conference, and has yet to face Santa Barbara this season. However, the Gauchos will play host to rival Cal Poly on Saturday .

“It is very important for us to realize the urgency of these last five league games,” Gregory said. “We need to finish strong and hopefully we can get a rhythm going against Riverside on Tuesday.”

After the two weekend losses, UCSB (13-11 overall, 7-4 Big West) fell to fourth place in the conference, but remains only one and a half games out of first place. Long Beach (17-6, 7-3) currently sits in third place in the Big West, behind Cal Poly and first place Fullerton (19-5, 8-2).

“Our attack was definitely not as strong as it needs to be,” senior setter Dana Vargas said. “Defensively we played well, but our offense was lacking all weekend.”

Saturday on the road at Long Beach, the squad knew it had their work cut out for it after narroAwly beating the 49ers in five sets during their last meeting at the Thunderdome. At the Pyramid, UCSB was never able to get a rhythm going offensively, committing ten errors during the second set.

“When we let good teams go on runs, it becomes very difficult for us as a team to play catch-up,” senior outside hitter Charlene DeHoog said.

Down 0-2, with all of the momentum against them, the Gauchos forced 14 ties in a set that saw seven lead changes. In the end, the 49ers trumped the Gauchos 25-23.

The team hit just .158 for the match. The only Gaucho to reach double figures in kills DeHoog, who posted 12. Vargas dished out 32 assists to go along with five digs and five kills, and freshman outside hitter Kara Sherrard added 12 digs and six kills.

“Saturday we played with more intensity, but once again we just weren’t clicking on all cylinders, especially on offense,” Gregory said.

Tonight’s match begins at 7 p.m. at the Thunderdome.