UCSB Finishes Off Cal State Fullerton in Four

UCSB Finishes Off Cal State Fullerton in Four

FULLERTON, Calif. – Led by Lindsey Ruddins and Elizabeth Sheffield, UCSB (12-8, 3-4) downed Cal  State Fullerton (6-14, 1-5) at Titan Gym in four sets (26-24, 21-25, 25-19, 25-20).

Ruddins led the Gauchos with 12 kills, while Sheffield had the most impact offensively with a season-high 16 total points with her 11 kills, three aces, and two block assists. The senior has now reached double figures in points for the second match in a row and for the third time in four contests.

On the defensive side of the court, Emilia Petrachi finished with a season-high 29 digs (7.3 per set), as she played a pivotal role in holding the Titans to a pair of sub- .100 hitting performances in the third and fourth sets. Petrachi now has five 20-plus dig outings this year, including her second in a row.

After a slow start in the first set, the Gauchos got in a rhythm with a 13-4 run en route to grabbing a 23-19 lead. During that stretch, Sheffield carried the team with a pair of kills and an ace, while dealing five straight serves, to help UCSB gain its first lead at 18-17. Thought a Titan block interrupted the run, Rowan Ennis brought the serve back to the Gauchos with a kill, which opened a 4-0 run highlighted by a pair of Hannah Juley kills.

Fullerton made it interesting with four unanswered points to tie the game at 23-23, but the Gauchos would outscore them 3-1 down the stretch with Hoffman coming through with a kill and a block alongside Sheffield.

The Titans struck back with a 25-21 win in the second set despite UCSB's match-high .412 hitting performance. Later in the third, neither team seemingly had control over the set until Fullerton fired off three straight points to gain a 17-15 lead. And while that was then the largest run of the game, the Gauchos tore it to shreds with their response in an unprecedented 8-0 run. With Fullerton committing four errors, UCSB capitalized with four kills, two coming from Ennis. That run produced a 23-17 lead for the Gauchos, which gave the team more than enough room to take the set.

 UCSB would close the match in the fourth thanks in part to a 7-2 run that featured a pair of Hoffman kills and a block and kill from Devin Joos. Finally to close out the victory, Ennis stepped up and delivered her team's final three points with three kills.

The Gauchos will be back in the Thunderdome next Friday to play Long Beach State at 7 p.m. Tickets are available online, over the phone at 805.893.UCSB (8272), and at the Ticketing Office in the Intercollegiate Athletics Building.