The UCSB women’s volleyball team is up to face another one-game weekend against Cal Poly tomorrow to end the season on the road.
The Gauchos go in to their end-of-the-season game 7-8 Big West and 12-14 overall, currently holding the sixth spot position. The Mustangs also enter their last game of the season with a 4-11 Big West and 9-16 overall record.
The last time the two teams played, the Gauchos pulled a long victory in a five-set match on their home court in both team’s Big West game opener. Culminating the same way they started, the Gauchos look to finish their season, in a similar, strong fashion.
“I haven’t really thought of this as the last game, but just as the next,” Head Coach Nicole Lantagne Welch said. “We definitely want to go out on a strong note, and put together a great match, and bring out our best to finish off the season.”
Coming up to the net for the Gauchos is junior outside hitter Ali Barbeau, who with her stand out performance last week, increases her kills pet set average to 2.65, and topping the team. Junior opposite Jaylen Villanueva follows Barbeau in kills per set with 2.59. Both Barbeau and Villanueva are tied with a team-high 3.1 points per set average as well.
“Cal Poly’s defense is set up for us to still be able to hit our highest scoring shots,” Barbeau said. “As long as we stay aggressive through the entire match I think we can be very successful.”
Defensively, sophomore outside hitter Ali Spindt, playing libero has maintained a league-high digs per set average throughout the season, as she goes into the last game third in the league recording an average 4.23 digs per set, and fifth in the league for total digs with 381.
Other defensive leaders for the Gauchos are sophomore middle blockers Phoebe Grunt and Allie Sullberg, who average .84 and .80 blocks per set respectively. In addition, freshman outside hitter Chanel Hoffman has recorded the most solo blocks with season for UCSB, with 10, followed by Grunt with eight.
“We’re prepared for Cal Poly’s offense as we’ve been working all week on their tendencies,” junior libero Shauna Klein said. “They’ve changed their rotations some since we’ve played them last time, so we’ve been keying into those changes and working hard to defend them.”
Hard hitter, freshman outside hitter Raeann Greisen for Cal Poly, goes up against the Gauchos with a team topping, and league high kills per set average, as her 3.55 average is currently the fourth best in the Big West. Greisen also comes in at fourth for total kills with 344.
“We have been working hard focusing on pushing forward on the dig and especially on blocking, our block will be key tomorrow,” Spindt said. Cal Poly’s junior libero Nicole Kessler also occupies the Big West digs and digs per set leaderboard alongside Spindt, as Kessler is currently second in the division in both categories, averaging 4.37 digs per set with 424 total digs.
“We want to have another match where we can put everything out on the floor, and give it our all,” Lantagne Welch said. “If we can do that, then we like our chances.”
The teams will battle at Cal Poly tomorrow at 5 p.m. for their final game of the season.