SAN DIEGO – UCSB (9-4) split its final day of the California Mixer after sweeping San Jose State and falling in straight sets to No. 10 San Diego at the Jenny Craig Pavilion.
With a 14-kill performance against the Spartans, Chanel Hoffman paced the Gauchos with 23 kills overall, while Lindsey Ruddins was behind her with 22. Other highlights include Megan Rice's breakout match against SJSU when she drilled a career-high 12 kills with a .320 clip.
With their non-conference schedule finished, the Gauchos will return to the Thunderdome on Friday to open Big West play with nationally ranked Hawai'i. After the marquee matchup is over, UCSB will also be hosting a Meet the Team event for fans, which will include player autographs and a photo booth. Tickets for the match are available online, over the phone at 805.893.UCSB (8272), and at the Ticketing Office in the Intercollegiate Athletics Building.
SAN JOSE STATE
The Gauchos started off the day with their sixth sweep of the season after downing San Jose State in straight sets 25-20, 26-24, 25-22. Overall, the offense was humming from start to finish, as the team hit for a combined .287 and finished the match with a dominant .350 outing in the third.
Chanel Hoffman torched the Spartan defense with 14 kills and an undeniable .429 kill percentage. The junior finished with a double-double, as she also collected 23 digs.
Megan Rice hit a career-high with 12 kills, tying her with Lindsey Ruddins for the second-most on the team. Rice – a freshman outside hitter – was sharp on her attacks with her .320 hitting clip, which was the second only to Hoffman among UCSB's pin hitters.
In the middle, Elizabeth Sheffield finished with a season-high nine kills after leading the Gauchos with a .538 clip.
With the offense rolling, setter Hannah Juley guided her teammates to prolific numbers thanks to her 46 assists, the most she has ever dished out in a three-set match.
After UCSB led the first set from start to finish, the Spartans were able to push the second game into extras after posting 14 kills, bouncing back from their lowly eight-kill performance in the first. However, that number couldn't keep pace with UCSB's 18 kills, four of which UCSB used to record their final points in the narrow 26-24 finish.
San Jose State reached set-point first at 24-23, but UCSB answered with a 3-0 run, bookended by two Ruddins kills.
That momentum stayed with the Gauchos in the third, as they would record 19 kills in that set alone, with 13 of those representing UCSB's final 13 points.
UCSB took no handouts in the third, as there were only four attacking errors from the Spartans. The rest of the Gauchos points came from their robust kill total and blocks.
In facing their highest ranked opponent of the year, the Gauchos fell in straight sets (25-19, 25-18, 25-18) to No. 10 San Diego to close out the California Mixer.
The Toreros stayed ahead through the match with a .346 hitting percentage compared to the Gauchos' .156 clip. Lindsey Ruddins filled her usual role as UCSB's kills leader with 10, while Phoebe Grunt had a career match with a .700 hitting performance that produced seven kills. Chanel Hoffman also pushed her Saturday kill total to 23 with nine against USD.
Hoffman also led the team in blocks with four, while Ruddins was behind her with three and middles Charlie Robinson and Grunt finished with two apiece. Emilia Petrachi also recorded 16 digs, which moved her weekend average up to 5.0 scoops per set.
In the first set, the Gauchos threatened the Toreros lead with a 4-0 run. When the stretch started, USD was ahead 20-15, but a Torero attacking error gave UCSB the serve. From there it became the Chanel Hoffman show, as the junior posted a solo block and registered back-to-back kills. USD, though, answered back with five straight points to take the game.
The Gauchos had a hot start in the second game with a 4-0 run and maintained their lead until USD knotted the score at 7-7. The Toreros scored on back-to-back plays for the tie and would go on to add tow more points to take their first lead of the set. From there, UCSB was unable to keep up with USD, as they took a 2-0 lead heading into the break.
Later in the third, UCSB put together a late push to cut USD's late-set lead down to three points at 21-18, capped off by a Ruddins service ace. But it would not be enough, as San Diego rattled off four-straight kills to end the match.