November 17, 2011

Gauchos Hit the Road for Final 2 Big West Games

• The Schedule
Friday, November 18, 2011 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara at Cal State Northridge (14-12, 8-6)
at CSUN's Matadome (1,600)
Series record vs. the Matadors – 28-5
Streak – Won 7
Last time out vs. the Matadors – W, 3-0 (11/9/11)
Listen live through KCSB – kcsb.org

Saturday, November 19, 2011 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara at UC Riverside (7-21, 4-10)
at UCR's Student Rec Pavilion (3,168)
Series record vs. the Highlanders – 41-25
Streak – Lost 2
Last time out vs. the Highlanders – L, 3-2 (10/12/11)

• Movin' On Up
With an impressive 51 digs in just six sets last week – an astounding 8.50 digs per set – senior libero Chelsey Lowe has tallied 586 digs this season, ranking her fourth all-time in single-season UCSB history. Lowe needs just six to pass Maria Reyes' 1989 total, which is third, and could catch her predecessor, Leigh Stephenson, who had 650 digs in 2007 for the school's all-time mark. The Yorba Linda, Calif. native is averaging 5.43 digs per set, ranking her first in the Big West and 21st in the nation.

• Top 10 Talent
As Chelsey Lowe continues her assault on the single-season digs record, she is also inching her way up the career charts at UCSB. With 1,340 career digs in her three seasons as a Gaucho – she transferred from USF before the 2009 season – Lowe ranks eighth all-time in school history after passing Brooke Niles (1999-2002). She needs 93 digs to surpass Erica Menzel (2000-03) and 176 more digs to overcome Emily Hendrickson (2003-06) in Gaucho history.

• They Can Dig It
Speaking of digs, as a team UCSB is averaging 18.01 digs per set, which ranks the Gauchos first in the Big West and 18th nationally in the stat. UCSB also leads the conference in digs per league matches with 19.31. Chelsey Lowe and Leah Sully each rank in the top-10 in the Big West in overall digs, one of just two sets of teammates to do so.

• RPI Report
In the weekly Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) released by the NCAA on Monday, UCSB ranks 53rd in the nation and is second in the conference behind Long Beach (No. 41). UCSB's final four opponents are Cal State Northridge (RPI of 118), UC Riverside (175), San Diego State (94) and TCU (55).

• Double Digit Delight
With a win in either of their final conference matches, the Gauchos will have secured double-digit wins for the third straight season.

• Uno, Dos, Adios
UCSB has won three consecutively scheduled matches by way of sweep, marking the first time the program has done so since winning four in a row from Oct. 24 to Nov. 3 in 2009.

• Double Dipper
In 19 of the Gauchos' 27 matches this season, Leah Sully has recorded a double-double, including in 14 of her last 18 matches. On the season the sophomore from Irvine, Calif. is averaging 2.96 kills and 3.79 digs per set – both ranking second on the team. Sully is also tied for fourth in the conference, with teammate Stacey Schmidt, with her 0.31 ace per set average.

Lily Lopez: Leading Lady
Senior middle blocker Lily Lopez paces the team with her .338 hitting percentage, ranking her second amongst her conference mates and 71st in the nation.  In her past three matches the native of  Yorba Linda, Calif. is hitting .471 (28-4-51). On the season Lopez is averaging 2.31 kills per set and 0.81 blocks per set.

• About Schmidt
Two-time All-Big West First Team pick Stacey Schmidt leads the team with her 2.98 kills per set and is second behind Jenna Wilson with her 0.94 blocks per set. She is hitting .289, eighth in the Big West.

• Killin' Kara
In Big West play, sophomore Kara Sherrard leads UCSB with her 3.00 kills per set and has 3.55 digs per set, which is third on the team. Sherrard has posted 11 double-doubles this season – including nine in her last 13 matches – and has recorded double-digit kills in 15 matches this season.

• Helping Hands
Freshman setter Hanna Nielson ranks third in the conference with 10.62 assists per set, which ranks her 64th nationally.