Gauchos Topple Cal Poly for First Conference Victory

The Gauchos entered the Big West Conference win column via a sweep of the Cal Poly Mustangs on Saturday night, ending a four match losing streak.

UCSB's record improves to 8-9 (1-2 in the Big West), while Cal Poly - losers of eleven straight - drops to 1-14, 0-3.

Cal Poly's Mott Gym attracted 1,273 fans for the match, but the Mustang faithful left disappointed. Game scores for the match went 25-20, 25-17, 25-20.

For the Gauchos, junior opposite Katey Thompson continued her strong play, as she recorded a match-high 15 kills and three aces. It was the third match in a row that Katey has led the Gauchos in kills. Seven of Thompson's 15 kills came in the decisive third game. Katey, who had just one error on the night, hit a season-high .538.

Sophomore setter Ali Santi, who recorded 30 assists, distributed the ball very evenly, as the top and number three UCSB hitters were seperated by just eight attacking attempts.

Junior outside hitter Leah Sully was second on the squad with eight kills and eight digs, and she also recorded a service ace for the third consecutive match after having previously failed to do so in seven straight.

Freshman libero Taylor Formico had 14 digs in the victory, and now sits alone in second place on the UCSB freshman single-season dig list with 372. Kelly Heenan leads that list after putting up 413 digs as a freshman in 2010.

Junior middle blocker Jenna Wilson had a strong match, recording five blocks after picking up just two total over her last pair of matches.

The Mustangs were led by Chelsea Hardin, who had a team-high 9 kills. Marianna Gera had four kills on just seven swings. However, as a team they surrendered seven aces while picking up just one of their own.

The Gauchos return home next week for a trio of matches at the Thunderdome. First up will be a nonconference match against Pepperdine on the night of Wednesday, Oct. 3, followed by matchups against Cal State Northridge and Hawai'i over the weekend.

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Women's volleyball's Jenna Wilson will be the featured player on this week's "Talk'n Gauchos," UCSB Athletics' weekly radio show. "Talk'n Gauchos" broadcasts every Tuesday at 6 p.m. from the Beachside Bar and Cafe on Goleta Beach. Fans are encouraged to come watch the show live. Talk'n Gauchos can be heard over the air on AM 1290 KZSB or online at UCSBgauchos.com's broadcast page