September 28, 2011

After a Month on the Road, Gauchos Open Home Schedule on Friday

• The Schedule
Friday, September 30, 2011 at 7:30 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. Pacific (10-5, 1-1)
at UCSB's Thunderdome (6,000)
Series record vs. the Tigers – 26-49
Streak – Lost 1
Last time out vs. the Tigers – L, 3-2 (11/13/10)
Match streaming live on Big West TV

Saturday, October 1, 2011 at 7:30 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. UC Davis (16-1, 2-0)
at UCSB's Thunderdome (6,000)
Series record vs. the Aggies – 14-2
Streak – Won 1
Last time out vs. the Aggies – W, 3-2 (11/12/10)
Match streaming live on Big West TV

• Batting 1,000
Senior libero Chelsey Lowe reached the 1,000 dig mark over the last weekend with a career-high 33 pick-ups at Cal State Fullerton and now stands with 1,030 in her Gaucho career (she transferred from USF prior to the 2009 season).  The Yorba Linda, Calif. native is averaging 5.02 digs per set, ranking her second in the Big West and 45th in the country. She has had at least 20 digs in eight of the Gauchos' 14 matches. Lowe 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.

• 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 (.313, fourth), service aces (0.29, fourth) and falls just outside the top-10 in kills (2.98 per set) and blocks (0.95).

• Double Dipper
In 10 of the Gauchos 14 matches this season – this coming after she missed all of last year due to a torn ACL – Leah Sully has recorded a double-double, including this past weekend when she had 13 kills and 14 digs at #21 Long Beach State and then had 10 kills and a career-high 23 digs at Cal State Fullerton. On the season the sophomore from Irvine, Calif. is averaging 2.82 kills and 3.45 digs per set – both ranking second on the team. Sully ranks in the conference's top-10 in digs (10th) and service aces (0.24, seventh).

• LL Cool J
Senior middle blocker Lily Lopez has been exceptional lately. A weekend after earning All-Tournament honors, Lopez had 20 kills and 12 total blocks at Long Beach and Fullerton. Lopez, who hails from Santa Ana, Calif., ranks eighth in the Big West with her .283 hitting percentage and is seventh with 1.02 blocks per set.

• Smoking Aces
As a team the Gauchos are averaging 1.13 service aces per set, ranking them third amongst Big West teams.

• They Can Dig It
As a team UCSB is averaging 16.53 digs per set, which ranks the Gauchos third in the Big West. Santa Barbara is one of two teams – along with Pacific – to  have two players in the conference's top-10 in digs. UCSB ranks 45th nationally in digs.

• Low Blows
Including Stacey Schmidt's and Lily Lopez's hitting percentage – each is in the Big West's top-10 – the Gauchos are swinging a collective .166, which ranks them seventh amongst the nine conference teams. UCSB is holding its opponents to a .171 hitting percentage.

• Block Party
Seven times in its past eight games UCSB has totaled at least 9.0 team blocks and has six double-digit team blocks in its 14 games this season. Four Gauchos – Lopez, Schmidt, Jenna Wilson and Katey Thompson – are averaging at least 0.72 blocks per set.

• 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 855 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.

• Third is the Word
In the annual preseason coaches poll, UCSB was picked to finish third in the Big West behind Long Beach State and Cal Poly.

• Don't Miss the Legend Ceremony
On Oct. 15 UCSB will honor the late Judy Bellomo in a pre-match ceremony to name the superb volleyball player as the Legend of the 'Dome. Join us for this historic event. Click here for more information.

Make sure to get your tickets for all home UCSB Athletics events by clicking here or calling (805) 893-UCSB.