After a road trip in Northern California last weekend, the UC Santa Barbara women’s volleyball team returns home this weekend, looking to sweep the season series against UC Irvine tonight. The Gauchos (13-11 overall, 6-5 Big West) are currently in a three-way tie for second place, while Irvine (9-13, 3-7) sits in eighth place.

“Last weekend’s road trip was a tough one, so I think it makes us appreciate our home court even more than we did before,” senior libero Chelsey Lowe said.

Tonight’s game is the first of three straight at home for the Gauchos, their last home matches of the year. A win in all three games will be crucial for their chances of making the postseason.

“Our goal is to make it to playoffs, and it’s necessary that we end the season strong in order to make it,” Lowe said.

The Anteaters lost their last outing 3-1 to Cal State Fullerton on Tuesday, and their only conference win away from home this year was at ninth-place UC Riverside, while Santa Barbara is looking to build.