On a night in which UCSB honored its three seniors in their final home game, the Gauchos lost to Pacific 3-2, all but eliminating them from playoff contention.

“It was a tough loss,” Head Coach Kathy Gregory said. “At the end they just pulled it out. It was a game that could have gone either way.”

Santa Barbara (15-12 overall, 9-6 Big West) and Pacific (16-11, 8-7) traded the first four sets, with UCSB taking the opening frame.

“I am extremely proud of our team,” Pacific Head Coach Greg Gibbons said. “We were able to get the win with a lot of heart.”

The Gauchos won the first and the third sets, both by scores of 25-23. The Tigers took the second and the fourth games both by scores of 25-20.

In the fifth and final set, the Gauchos jumped out to a 6-4 lead. Pacific responded with a four-point run of its own to take a 8-6 lead, and didn’t look back from there. Although UCSB got within two at 13-11, the Gauchos couldn’t complete the comeback and fell to Pacific 15-12.

“They scored a lot of easy point on us and forced us to earn every one of our points,” senior setter Dana Vargas said. “We had some lapses in concentration and if we had those points back, the outcome could have been different.”

The Gauchos were led by junior middle blocker Stacey Schmidt who had a team high 14 kills. Senior outside hitter Charlene DeHoog posted a double-double with 14 kills and 19 digs. Freshman outside hitter added 10 kills and 15 digs, and junior libero Chelsey Lowe had a career-high 30 digs.

UCSB will close out its 2010 regular season campaign on the road at UC Riverside next weekend.

“We have one more game to play and we are excited to close it out on a high note,” Coach Gregory said.