September 21, 2011

Gauchos Open Big West Play on the Road

• The Schedule
Friday, September 23, 2011 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara at #21 Long Beach State (6-4, 0-0)
at Long Beach State's Walter Pyramid (5,000)
Series record vs. the 49ers – 35-58
Streak – Lost 1
Last time out vs. the 49ers – L, 3-0 (10/30/10)

Saturday, September 24, 2011 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara at Cal State Fullerton (5-6, 0-0)
at CSUF's Titan Gym (4,000)
Series record vs. the Titans – 55-6
Streak – Lost 2
Last time out vs. the Titans – L, 3-0 (10/29/10)


• About Schmidt
All-American Stacey Schmidt has been almost like a one-person wrecking crew for the Gauchos. She ranks in the top-10 in the Big West in: hitting percentage (.327, fifth), kills (3.16, 10th), service aces (0.29, fifth) and blocks (1.02, sixth). Schmidt is the lone player in the conference to be ranked in the top-10 in those categories.

• The Lowe Down
Senior libero Chelsey Lowe is having a tremendous start to her final campaign. The Yorba Linda, Calif. native is averaging 5.16 digs per set, ranking her second in the Big West and has at least 20 digs in seven of the Gauchos' 12 matches. Lowe has scooped up 986 digs in her career, and has a chance to break into UCSB's career top-10 by season's end. Currently, Liz Towne (1985-88) ranks 10th with 1,256 career digs.

• Double Dipper
In eight of the Gauchos 12 matches this season – this coming after she missed all of last year due to a torn ACL – Leah Sully has recorded a double-double. The sophomore from Irvine, Calif. had 14 kills and 13 digs in the win over Indiana and followed it with 12 kills and 13 digs in the sweep of George Washington. On the season Sully is averaging 2.93 kills and 3.40 digs per set – both ranking second on the team. Sully ranks in the conference's top-10 in digs (10th) and service aces (0.27, sixth).

• LL Cool J
Senior middle blocker Lily Lopez was a force last weekend in San Diego, earning All-Tournament honors after leading the Gauchos in hitting percentage and blocks. Lopez, who hails from Santa Ana, Calif., swung at a .358 clip while tallying 10 total blocks. The senior ranks 10th in the Big West with her .299 hitting percentage.

• Smoking Aces
As a team the Gauchos are averaging 1.24 service aces per set, tying them for first amongst Big West teams (along with Cal State Northridge).

• They Can Dig It
As a team UCSB is averaging 16.40 digs per set, which ranks the Gauchos second in the Big West behind Pacific's 17.07.

• Low Blows
Including Stacey Schmidt's .327 hitting percentage – which is fifth in the Big West – the Gauchos are swinging a collective .175, which ranks them sixth amongst the nine conference teams. UCSB is holding its opponents to a .178 hitting percentage.

• Block Party
As a team UCSB is averaging 2.18 blocks per set, which is fifth in the Big West. UCSB is led by Stacey Schmidt (1.02, sixth in the Big West) and Lily Lopez (0.97, eighth). Middle blocker Jenna Wilson has also been a force averaging 0.86 blocks and leads the team with seven solo blocks.

• Taylor the Terminator
Freshman Taylor Pischke caught fire last weekend as she tied her career high with five kills vs. #17 San Diego, then set a new high with six kills vs. Indiana. She finished up with nine against George Washington.

• See Stacey Swing
Stacey Schmidt is leading the Gauchos with her 3.16 kills per set, ranking her 10th in the Big West. The Huntington Beach, Calif. native has set career-bests in digs and block assists this year and has hit at least .300 in six of Santa Barbara's 12 matches.

• Next Up ... 900
UCSB's legendary coach, Kathy Gregory, reached her 850th career victory when UCSB defeated North Dakota on Sept. 9. "The Queen" is one of just six coaches to accomplish the feat and her 854 career wins are sixth-most of any Division I coach and the third-most amongst active coaches. Gregory ranks 10th in all-time victories across all divisions, according to the NCAA.

UCSB opens its home schedule next Friday, Sept. 30 vs. Pacific at 7:30 p.m. All home games this season will start at 7:30 p.m. in the Thunderdome. To get your tickets, click here, or call 893-UCSB.

On Saturday, Oct. 15, UCSB will unveil its next Legend of the 'Dome. Standout women's volleyball player Judy Bellomo will be honored in a pre-game ceremony.