Gauchos Look to Extend Winning Streak This Weekend

(Photo by Evelyn Cervantes)
(Photo by Evelyn Cervantes)

• The Schedule
Friday, October 7, 2011 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara at Loyola Marymount (9-8)
at LMU's Gersten Pavilion (4,156)
Series record vs. the Lions – 28-8
Streak – Won 1
Last time out vs. the Lions – W, 3-0 (9/22/09)

Saturday, October 8, 2011 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara at UC Irvine (5-9, 0-3)
at UCI's Bren Events Center (5,000)
Series record vs. the Anteaters – 64-9
Streak – Won 4
Last time out vs. the Anteaters – W, 3-1 (10/22/10)

• Poll Position
For the first time this season and the first time since the August 31, 2010 AVCA poll, is UC Santa Barbara receiving votes in the weekly poll. Before getting knocked out of the poll last year the Gauchos had gone 15 straight weeks of receiving votes. The last time UCSB was ranked in the top-25 came on Sept. 12, 2005 when Santa Barbara was No. 24.

• LL Cool J
Senior middle blocker Lily Lopez continued her impressive play with a career-high 17 kills in the win over the Aggies. Lopez ranks sixth in the Big West with her .311 hitting percentage and she has a 0.90 blocks per set average. In conference matches Lopez is hitting .327 and is averaging 2.37 kills and 0.79 blocks per set.

• 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 (.303, eighth), service aces (0.33, second) and falls just outside the top-10 in kills (2.95 per set) and blocks (0.97).

• Batting 1,000
Senior libero Chelsey Lowe recorded 52 digs last weekend now stands with 1,082 in her Gaucho career (she transferred from USF prior to the 2009 season).  The Yorba Linda, Calif. native is averaging 5.13 digs per set, ranking her second in the Big West and 28th in the country. She has had at least 20 digs in 10 of the Gauchos' 16 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.

• They Can Dig It
As a team UCSB is averaging 16.67 digs per set, which ranks the Gauchos second in the Big West. UCSB ranks 40th nationally in digs and Lowe and Leah Sully (3.47 digs per set) lead the squad in that category.

• Killin' Kara
Sophomore Kara Sherrard enjoyed a career night as she had a personal best 18 kills in the win over UC Davis and that has helped her lead the Gauchos in kills during Big West matches. The outside hitter from Lancaster, Calif. has tallied four double-doubles this season, including in both matches last weekend.

• Double Dipper
In 12 of the Gauchos' 16 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 did it twice. On the season the sophomore from Irvine, Calif. is averaging 2.86 kills and 3.47 digs per set – both ranking second on the team. Sully also tied her season-high with four service aces vs. Pacific and is fifth in the conference with her 0.27 ace per set average.

• Smoking Aces
As a team the Gauchos are averaging 1.17 service aces per set, ranking them second amongst Big West teams.

• Low Blows
Including both Lily Lopez's and Stacey Schmidt's hitting percentages – each is in the Big West's top-10 – the Gauchos are swinging a collective .176, which ranks them seventh amongst the nine conference teams. UCSB is holding its opponents to a .171 hitting percentage.

• Block Party
Nine times in its past 10 matches UCSB has totaled at least 9.0 team blocks and has seven double-digit team blocks in its 16 games this season. Four Gauchos – Lopez, Schmidt, Jenna Wilson and Katey Thompson – are averaging at least 0.66 blocks per set. As a team, the Gauchos' 2.23 blocks per set rank fifth in the Big West and 89th nationally.


UCSB returns to the friendly confines of the Thunderdome until a Saturday, Oct. 15 match with UC Riverside at 7:30 p.m. That will be the night UCSB inducts volleyball star Judy Bellomo as a Legend of the 'Dome. Join us for this historic event. Click here for more information.

For tickets, please click here or call (805) 893-UCSB.