Junior outside hitter Leah Sully had one of the strongest matches of her career on Friday night, recording 27 kills, 14 digs, and four blocks against the University of Portland Pilots, shattering her previous career-highs of 18 kills and two blocks in the process.
All that was not enough, as the Gauchos fell just short 3-2 (25-23, 26-24, 25-22, 23-25, 15-12) in their first match in the Sheraton Hotel/Comcast Lobo Invitational hosted by the University of New Mexico.
Also recording a new career-high in the match was junior middle blocker Jenna Wilson, who followed up her season-high eight-kill effort against Portland St. last weekend with a career-high 10 kills on Friday night.
Despite the close scores, there were just a total of 12 lead changes throughout the match, six of them taking place in the second game, which Portland was able to claim in extra points.
The Pilots were fueled by Ariel Usher, who picked up a team-high 21 kills and a match-high .432 hitting percentage. Libero Jacky Rodriguez was a hindrance to the Gauchos attacking game, recording a match-high 22 digs.
The loss will be especially rough for the Gauchos, who despite the loss actually recorded their highest team hitting percentage of the season at .211. Sully led UCSB with a .349 hitting percentage while Jenna Wilson registered at a .250 clip on 10 kills.
Sophomore setter Ali Santi tied a season-high with 57 assists while haunting the Pilots passers with a career and match-high four aces.
The Gauchos, losers of consecutive matches for the first time this season, will look to turn it around on Saturday in the final day of the Lobo Invitational. UCSB faces Georgia Southern at 9:30 AM and finishes up with host New Mexico at 6:30 PM.
UCSB Athletics is proud to unveil the Gameday Central page! New for the 2012-13 year, the Gameday Central page is one-stop shopping for all your audio and video needs for some of UCSB's most popular sports. The page premieres tonight for UCSB's Men's Soccer match against Valparaiso, and can be found by clicking here or by following the links on the UCSBgauchos.com front page.