UCSB Continues Fight for First on the Road
Thursday, November 14, 2013 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara at UC Davis (14-11, 6-6)
at The Pavilion at ARC
All-time record vs. Aggies: 17-4
Last meeting: W, 3-2 (Oct. 19, 2013)
Saturday, November 16, 2013 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara at Cal State Northridge (21-4, 11-4)
at The Matadome
All-time record vs. Matadors: 31-6
Last meeting: W, 3-0 (Oct. 18, 2013)
After the Gauchos won a five-set thriller in Honolulu last month, the Rainbow Wahine pulled off a road win of their own in Santa Barbara in another five setter. UCSB tallied a total of 20 team blocks, paced by Phoebe Grunt's 10 block assists. The loss ended the Gauchos' eight match winning streak UCSB is entering this week with just two losses on its Big West record, both of which ended in five sets.
Smile for the Camera!
This Saturday's match at Cal State Northridge will be featured on ESPN 3. The online broadcast will start at 7p.m. You can watch the match here.
Fight for First
Entering the eighth week of Big West play, the Gauchos are second in the conference standings at 8-2. Cal State Northridge owns the number one spot with an 11-1 mark, with their only loss coming at the hands of the Gauchos in a 3-0 sweep. Though only the Big West team with a national ranking in the AVCA Coach's poll (12), Hawai'i is third in the conference at 9-3.
Katey Thompson is hitting her peak in her senior season for the Gauchos. She is UCSB's kills leader with 239, and averages 3.41 kills per set (second-best in the Big West). Thompson has recorded double digit kills figures in 15 of the 18 matches she's played in this season. Also putting up solid numbers at the net, the senior has recorded the third-most total blocks on the team with 63. That mark is the highest for any non-middle blocker on the UCSB roster.
'Beau' Knows Offense
Since the start of conference play, outside hitter Ali Barbeau has recorded the second-most kills on the team with 125. She trails only Katey Thompson who has registered 137 during the same time span. During UCSB's past two road matches, the sophomore led the team to two sweeps with 18 kills at Cal State Fullerton and 16 kills against Cal Poly.
Ali Spindt is a true freshman, but you wouldn't know it by looking at her superb stats. The outside hitter is second on the team with both 225 kills and 230 digs. Playing complete matches, Spindt has put together double double figures nine times, the most of any Gaucho this season.
Dueling with Davis
The Aggies forced the Gauchos into five sets last time the teams faced each other. Down 2-1, UCSB switched Leah Sully from libero to outside hitter, which sparked the Gauchos offense as the senior led UCSB to victories in the last two games with nine kills. UC Davis is one of the top defensive teams in the conference as they lead the Big West with 1,659 digs. Megan Lancaster leads the team in that category and is third in the league with 327 digs. On offense, the Aggies will look to Devon Damelio who has racked up the second most kills in the Big West at 320. At the net, Katie Quinn owns the team high-mark with 89 total blocks.
Marking Up the Matadors
Cal State Northridge is the kills leader in the Big West with 1,378 kills. Not sacrificing efficiency for quantity, the Matadors also have a combined .271 kill percentage, good for second in the league. Casey Hinger paces the club with 289 kills and a .339 kill percentage. The team also is a proven threat at the net, as it is has the second most total blocks in the conference at 246, just four shy of the top mark held by Long Beach State. Again, it is Hinger who has piled on the most blocks this season for the Matadors with 107, just two blocks short of the conference leader. With many CSUN players holding their own at the net, the team is tops in the conference with 68 solo blocks.
Where We Rank
In conference play, the Gauchos have become one of the top attacking teams as they are third in the Big West with a 13.59 kills per set average and a .252 in kill percentage. At the net, UCSB has averaged the most blocks per set (3.33), as well as the highest block assists mark (210). Overall, the Gauchos are second in total blocks with 130. Santa Barbara is the only team to average 18 points per set.
Two-Year Thunderdome Celebration Continues
In 2013-14, UC Santa Barbara will continue its two-year 35th anniversary celebration of the Thunderdome. In the Fall of 1979, the doors officially opened for UCSB's Events Center and a new era in Gaucho Athletics was born. Nicknamed the Thunderdome, the Events Center has been home for UCSB's prolific women's volleyball program since its opening. Under the bright lights of the 'Dome, the Gauchos established themselves as a perennial NCAA contender, qualifying for the national tournament 27 times including 26 straight.
UCSB women's volleyball is historically one of the most successful teams in the NCAA. The Gauchos are just one of only four teams to qualify for the first 26 NCAA Tournaments. Overall, UCSB reached 27 NCAA Tournaments, which includes multiple Elite Eight and Sweet Sixteen berths. Before the NCAA recognized women's volleyball, UCSB was one of the top teams in the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW), reaching its national tournament Final Four three times including two third place finishes.