The UCSB women’s volleyball team went 0-2 this weekend on its trip south as it dropped six straight sets to lose 3-0 against Cal State Northridge on Friday and 3-0 to Long Beach on Saturday.
“This weekend was disappointing, we didn’t play up to our potential,” junior outside hitter Ali Barbeau said. “If we had gone out and played 100 percent and come up short then it would’ve been easier to accept, but we know we didn’t put it all out there.”
After this weekend, UCSB is back at .500, with a 7-7 Big West and 12-13 overall record. With a win over Cal Poly on Friday as well, Long Beach continues to top the division with its 12-0 Big West and 22-4 overall record. CSUN also stepped it up this weekend, also recording a win over Cal Poly, which moved it back into fourth place with a 7-5 conference and 16-8 overall record.
In their game against Long Beach, the Gauchos dropped three sets 25-19, 25-18 and 25-17 on 49ers’ home court. The Long Beach defense held the Gauchos to a .131 team hitting percentage, while hitting for a .371 clip itself.
For the 49ers, senior middle blocker Chisom Okapla hit for a .556 hitting percentage with 11 kills and 11.5 points. Junior outside hitter Alex Reid also hit hard for the 49ers with 12 kills for a .417 hitting percentage, two block assists and 13 total points.
“Long Beach has a versatile, quick-tempo offense with high-flying athletics hitters,” junior libero Shauna Klein said. “We worked to prepare defensively but I think the difference was the amount of hitting errors between the two teams.”
On the Gaucho side of the net, junior outside hitter Jaylen Villanueva hit for a team-high .250 hitting percentage with 12 kills and 14 points. Defensively, sophomore outside hitter Ali Spindt recorded 14 total digs. Red-shirt freshman middle blocker Kristen Berlo also had three of the team’s six block assists.
“Our game plan was to come out aggressive and win the serve and pass battle, but we came out flat and weren’t ever really able to recover. We were in somewhat of a mental hole,” Spindt said.
In its game on Friday, UCSB suffered another loss against CSUN in three sets, 26-24, 25-15 and 25-21.
In a battle of offenses, the Gauchos hit for a .242 team hitting percentage, and the Matadors, .319. Both teams also recorded 91 total attempts and eight block assists, but the Matadors ability to take advantage of key situations put them over the top on their home court.
“CSUN is a great offensive team, but we let them do exactly what we knew they wanted to do,” Barbeau said. “They also had a good defensive game against us, which I think we weren’t expecting. In the end, they really just out-worked us.”
Big hitters for the Matadors were junior outside hitter Danetta Boykin and senior middle blocker Casey Hinger. Both players hit for 14 kills on Friday, Hinger swinging for a .435 hitting percentage and Boykin, .407. Along with Hinger’s 16.5 recorded points, she also went up for three of the team’s eight block assists.
“We always expect teams to come out and play their best against us,” Klein said. “Especially towards the end of conference play, everyone is looking to win out and get revenge on different teams.”
A standout player in Friday’s Gaucho offense was freshman outside hitter Chanel Hoffman, who swung for a .231 hitting percentage and a team high 11 kills and 12 points.
The Gauchos will return home next weekend to play Hawaii on Friday at 7 p.m. in the Thunderdome.