October 25, 2012

Gauchos Finish Up Homestand With Cal Poly

• The Schedule
Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara (12-12, 5-4) vs. Cal Poly (3-18, 2-7)
at the Thunderdome
Series record vs. the Mustangs – 43-25
Streak vs Cal Poly – Won 2
UCSB streak overall – Won 1
Cal Poly streak overall – Won 2
2012 Series – UCSB 1-0
Last time out vs. the Mustangs – W, 3-0 (9/29/12)

• The Week In Review
The Gauchos split a pair of matches at the Thunderdome last week, falling to Cal St. Fullerton and defeating UC Riverside. Friday night's loss to Cal St. Fullerton came in particularly disappointing fashion, as the Titans won a five-game thriller that featured 34 ties and 16 lead changes. Kayla Neto assaulted the Gauchos with 35 kills, the most ever surrendered to an opposing player by the Gauchos. In the loss, UCSB set a team record for digs in a single match (124) in the rally era. Saturday's win over Riverside - who remain winless in conference play - took just four games, but did not lack drama. Aiming to avoid  a repeat of last year's collapse after taking a 2-0 game lead over Riverside, the Gauchos mustered just enough energy to pull out a fourth-set win. Leah Sully (15 K, 18 D) and Katey Thompson (15 K, 11 D) both had double-doubles to lead the Gauchos to victory.

• The Blue-Green Rivalry Continues
UCSB's women's volleyball currently has the only Gauchos win in the "Blue-Green Rivalry"
this year. Cal Poly currently leads the rivalry by a score of 3-1, with wins coming in
men's soccer and cross country. For more on this historic rivalry, click here.

• "Taylor-Made Libero"
Another week, another milestone for freshman libero Taylor Formico. Formico had arguably
her best weekend of the season against CSF and UCR, earning a second consecutive
Big West Player of the Week nomination. Against Fullerton, Taylor recorded a career-high
41 digs that tied a school record for the most digs in a single match and set a new record
for the rally-scoring era. She added another 32 digs against UCR in just four games, upping
her dig average to 5.84 per game. Taylor ranks second in the nation in total digs (561)
and seventh in dig average. Both of those figures top the Big West. Currently No. 5 on
the UCSB single-season dig list, she needs just 101 more over UCSB's final nine matches
to overtake the top spot.

• Last Time Out Against Cal Poly
The Gauchos bested Cal Poly just under a month ago for their first conference win of
the season. Katey Thompson -- who was in the middle of a hot streak -- dominated the
Mustangs in that match, picking up 15 kills, three aces, and a whopping .538 hitting percentage
that still stands as her highest of the season. The Gauchos had an evenly balanced
attack, as their No. 1 and No. 3 hitters on the night were separated by just eight swings.

• Gauchos Are Digging the Big West Conference
Thanks to Taylor Formico (No. 1 dig average) and Leah Sully (No. 8 dig average),
the Gauchos have the top team dig average in the conference at 18.24 per
game. That figure also ranks sixth nationally. UCSB also leads the conference in
kills (13.53 per game) and assists (12.74 per game) in conference matches, while
ranking second in aces (1.18 per game)

• Sully Gets It Done All Over the Court
Outside hitter Leah Sully has been getting it done in all areas of the court this
season. Sully has the second most kills in the Big West (370), easily tops amongst
the Gauchos. Sully is tied with Katey Thompson for the team lead in service aces
with 23. An excellent back row player, Leah has the fewest receiving errors (18) of
the primary UCSB serve receivers despite having handled the most serves (609).
Leah is the only player in the conference to rank in the top 10 averages in kills
(6th), digs (9th), and aces (10th) in Big West matches.

• The Scoop on Formico
Besides her gaudy season dig total, Taylor Formico has amassed a number of
strong individual performances as well. Formico leads the nation with eight 30+
dig matches. No other player in Divison I has more than five, and only 10 in the
nation have had three matches of 30+ digs. Taylor has recently been coming on
strong with the serve as well, recording nine aces over her last four matches and
ranking second in the Big West with .35 aces per game in conference matches.

• Great Timing
For the second consecutive week, the Gauchos will face the reigning Big West
Player of the Week. Cal Poly middle blocker Megan McConnell took home the
award as she helped her team snap a 15-match losing streak by averaging 2.3 kills,
2.6 digs, and 1.4 blocks per game in a pair of wins over Cal St. Fullerton and UCR.

• Double-Doubles
The following Gauchos have been piling on double-double performances: Leah
Sully (18 total, 7 consecutive), Ali Santi (12), Katey Thompson (7), Jaylen Villanueva
(5), and Kara Sherrard (3).

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