October 10, 2012

Gauchos Head North to Take On Pacific, UC Davis

Weekly Release in PDF Form

• The Schedule

Friday, Oct. 12, 2012 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara (9-11, 2-3) at UC Davis (9-9, 3-2)
at The Pavillion in Davis, Calif.
Series record vs. the Aggies – 15-3
Streak vs UC Davis – Lost 1
UCSB streak overall – Lost 1
UCD streak overall – Won 1
Last time out vs. the Aggies – L, 3-1 (10/28/11)

Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara (9-11, 2-3) at Pacific (15-3, 3-2)
at the Alex G. Spanos Center in Stockton, Calif.
Series record vs. the Tigers – 28-49
Streak vs Pacific – Won 2
UCSB streak overall – Lost 1
Pacific streak overall – Lost 1
Last time out vs. the Tigers – W, 3-2 (10/29/11)

• The Week In Review
Last week, the Gauchos went 1-2, facing a tough schedule that included nationally ranked
opponents Pepperdine (No. 23) and Hawai'i (No. 8) as well as the not-to-be-overlooked
CSUN Matadors. Despite playing well at times against Pepperdine, the Gauchos couldn't
defend the dump play, as Pepperdine setter Kellie Woolever recorded a dozen kills in a
3-1 win. The Gauchos overwhelmed CSUN in a three game sweep on Friday, as Leah
Sully led all players with 16 kills. Taylor Formico had 18 digs in the win. As impressive as
UCSB was on Friday, Hawai'i was even more so on Saturday. The visiting Rainbow Wahine
made quick work of the Gauchos in a three game sweep. Big West player of the week
Emily Hartong shredded the Gaucho defense with a match-high 16 kills and a .341 hitting
percentage. Leah Sully (10 kills) was the only Gaucho to reach double-digits.

• Formico's Record Breaking Night
Freshman libero Taylor Formico set a new UCSB freshman record for single season digs
on Friday night against CSUN when she recorded her 414th dig in the second game. The
record was previously held by Kelly Heenan, who had 413 digs in 2010. Formico now
sets her sights on the all-time single season digs list. She needs just 50 more to reach the
Gauchos top-10 list. Her current rate puts her on pace for a 716 dig season, which would
be both a UCSB and Big West Conference record for a single season by any player.

• Improvement Needed on the Road
In order for the Gauchos to find success against Pacific, they'll need to reverse a couple
of trends. This season, Pacific is undefeated at home, though they haven't yet played a top
opponent at the Spanos Center. Conversely, the Gauchos are struggling a bit on the road
with a 3-5 record. Pacific has won four of the last five matchups between the teams in
Stockton, including four consecutive wins from 2007-2010.

• Taking Kara Business
A key to the Gauchos success against CSUN was the re-emergence of Kara
Sherrard as a consistent attacking option. After recording five or fewer kills in five
straight matches and seeing her attempted swings drop to the teens or lower in
nine of her last 12 appearances, Kara had seven kills on a .375 hitting percentage
against Northridge and eight kills on 33 swings against Hawai'i.

• Recent History with Davis and Pacific
Last year, the Gauchos went a combined 3-1 against UCD and Pacific. Kara Sherrard
and Leah Sully were on their game against their northern rivals. Kara averaged
13.5 kills (led the team twice) and 15.5 digs against the two teams, while
Leah averaged 14.5 kills and 17.75 digs.

• Killing the Big West Conference
Despite a an overall 12.5 kills per game rate that ranks just ninth in Big West, the
Gauchos have found their attacking stroke as of late. In Big West conference play,
the Gauchos are racking up 13.81 kills per game, tops in the conference. Opposite
hitter Katey Thompson has posted the biggest jump, recording 3.88 kills per
game in BWC matches compared to just 2.78 kills per game in non-conference
matches.

• New Blood
For the second consecutive year, the Gauchos will be fielding a roster with seven
freshmen, tied with UC Riverside for the most first-year players in the Big West
Conference. Freshmen Taylor Formico, Britton Taylor, and Jaylen Villanueva already
contribute significantly for the Gauchos.

• More Accolades for Formico
Taylor Formico is a big reason why the Gauchos rank second in the conference
and seventeenth in the nation with 17.62 digs per set. Individually, Formico leads
the conference in total digs and digs per game. Formico has a 100 dig lead over
second place Kristin Winkler of UCI. Formico's 5.56 digs per set ranks 13th nationally.
She has actually increased her already high output recently, upping her digs per
game to 5.75 in Big West Conference play.