October 17, 2012

UCSB Athletics to Celebrate 40 Years of Title IX as Volleyball Homestand Opens Friday vs. Cal State Fullerton

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• The Schedule

Friday, Oct. 19, 2012 at 7:00 p.m.
UCSB Athletics Celebrates Title IX - 40 Years & Forward
UC Santa Barbara (11-11, 4-3) vs. Cal St. Fullerton (10-10, 4-3)
at the Thunderdome
Series record vs. the Titans – 56-7
Streak vs Cal St. Fullerton – Won 1
UCSB streak overall – Won 2
CSUF streak overall – Won 4
Last time out vs. the Titans – W, 3-1 (10/21/11)

Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara (11-11, 4-3) vs UC Riverside (5-15, 0-7)
at the Thunderdome
Series record vs. the Highlanders – 27-1
Streak vs UC Riverside – Won 1
UCSB streak overall – Won 2
UCR streak overall – Lost 7
Last time out vs. the Highlanders – W, 3-0 (11/19/11)

• Forty & Forward: UCSB Celebrates Title IX Friday
UC Santa Barbara is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the groundbreaking Title IX legislation which was signed into law in 1972. Gaucho Athletics is joining in that celebration with a series of videos and articles about some of the women who have been most effected by the legislation.  On Friday night when UCSB hosts Cal State Fullerton in women's volleyball at the Thunderdome, the 40th Anniversary of Title IX will be recognized in several ways.  As part of the Gauchos Give program, tickets have been given out to several girls youth groups who will attend.  Tickets have also been distributed to the campus' Title IX Committee.  Between the second and third games of the match University administrators and UCSB student-athletes will address the crowd.  Also, there will be a table set-up at the entrance with Title IX buttons, tattoos and t-shirts.

• The Week In Review
The Gauchos had a very strong run of play last week, going 2-0 on their road trip to northern California. Friday night's win over UC Davis was characterized by the Gaucho middles' dominance. Britton Taylor and Jenna Wilson had a dozen kills apiece - tying a
career-high for Wilson. Jaylen Villanueva received the majority of the setting duties, and was able to establish chemistry with the middles. Taylor Formico assaulted the Aggies back row with a career-high four aces. As a team, the Gauchos had a season-high 11 aces. Saturday night's win over Pacific was a come-from-behind five-game thriller. The outcome of the match was up in the air until the very end, as the Gauchos trailed in all five sets. Back to back kills from Katey Thompson in the fifth set clinched the match for UCSB. Leah Sully had 22 kills in that match, while Jenna Wilson had eight blocks.

• "Top-Ten" Taylor
Another week, another milestone for freshman libero Taylor Formico. A week after setting the UCSB freshman dig record, Taylor had arguably her strongest week of play yet garnering her first Big West Player of the Week nomination. With her 64 dig, six-ace
weekend, Formico entered a pair of respectable Top-10 lists. After hovering around the No. 20 mark for most of the season, Taylor jumped to ninth nationally with her 5.61 dig per game average. She is fourth nationally in total digs. She also cracked the top-10 UCSB single season dig list. At 488 digs, she sits just two digs below No. 9 Kristin Nelson's 2003 campaign of 490 digs.

• Hitters Count
In their win over Pacific, the Gauchos broke new ground. With a .109 team hitting percentage, it was the first time this season UCSB has won a match when they were outhit by their opponent. They were previously 0-9 in such matches.

• Hot and Cold
Cal St. Fullerton has been the embodiment of streaky so far this season. After losing their first three conference matches as part of a six-match losing streak, the Titans have pulled off a season-best four straight wins, including a win over formidable Long Beach St., to join the four-team tie for third place. The Gauchos have a chance to best their season-high three-match win streak with a pair of wins over the weekend.

• Titans Tackle History
Cal St. Fullerton's win over Long Beach St. last weekend was historic on a number of levels. It was the first time the Titans had bested the 49ers in 30 years - a 59 match stretch. Cal State Fullerton MB/OH Kayla Neto won Big West Player of the Week honors for her 44 kill, 41 dig weekend.

• The Scoop on Formico
A look at the conference leaderboard will yield many glimpses of Taylor Formico's name. Taylor leads the Big West Conference in digs by a large margin. Her 488 scoops give her over an 100 dig lead on the No. 2 libero - UCI's Kristin Winkler (385). Taylor 5.61 overall dig rate has only gone up since conference play began - she is sporting a 5.84 digs per game rate in Big West matches. With her six aces last week, Taylor also has the fourth best aces per game rate in the BWC.

• New Blood
Saturday's matchup will feature the two youngest rosters in the Big West. UCR and UCSB each feature seven freshmen, tops among all teams in the BWC.

• All-Around Hitters
Much of UCSB's success can be attributed to the versatility of its top players. Leah Sully, who has the most kills in the conference and is 2nd on the team in aces (21), is also a top-flight defensive player - ranking 9th in the conference in digs per game and possessing the fewest receiving errors (16) among UCSB back row players. Katey Thompson leads the team in aces (23) and places second in kills (214) and blocks (75). Her line of nine kills, 13 digs, and six blocks against Pacific is indicative of her multi-faceted skill set.