Friday, October 21, 2016 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. Long Beach State (13-7, 7-0)
At The Thunderdome
All-time record vs. 49ers: 36-68
Last meeting: L, 3-0 (Oct. 1, 2016)
Video | Audio | Live Stats | Tickets
Saturday, October 22, 2016 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. CSUN (6-12, 2-4)
At The Thunderdome
All-time record vs Matadors: 34-9
Last meeting: W, 3-1 (Sept. 30, 2016)
Video | Audio | Live Stats | Tickets
On Friday night, UCSB will honor breast cancer awareness with its annual Pink Game. Pink wrist bands will be handed out to all attendees of the match, while UCSB students will also be given Pink 'Gaucho for Life' t-shirts. After the match, there will be a pink themed photo booth for all fans to use.
UCSB will be hosting an Alumni Night on Saturday. All alumni who RSVP will receive two complimentary tickets to UCSB's match versus CSUN that night, and will also have access to the postgame reception in the Founders' Room inside the Thunderdome. If you have any questions or would like to RSVP, please call Mia Weber at 805.893.4785 or send her an email at email@example.com.
UCSB split its road trip from last weekend with a 3-1 loss at UC Riverside followed by a four-set victory at Cal State Fullerton on Saturday. Lindsey Ruddins had her highest kill total in nearly a month with 13 kills and also came up with 11 digs, but it was not enough against UC Riverside who were carried by Mickayla Sherman's season-high 26 kills to the win. The Gauchos bounced back quickly, though, and convincingly beat Cal State Fullerton in Titan Gym. Led by Emilia Petrachi's 29 digs and Hannah Juley's career-high 50 assists, the Gauchos cruised to a win and limited the Titans to just 21 kills in the final two sets (10 in the third, 11 in the fourth).
Dome Sweet Dome
The Gauchos will be back in the Thunderdome this weekend and will be playing in rematches with Long Beach State and CSUN. This will be the first time UCSB has faced a team for a second time this year. The 49ers hold the distinction as the only team in the league to defeat nationally ranked Hawai'i and to be undefeated in conference play at 7-0. The team had just a one match slate last weekend, as it swept CSUN at home. As for the Matadors, they are on a four-match skid since beating UC Irvine and UC Davis in a pair of five-setters in the first weekend of conference action.
Go Go Chanel
With Lindsey Ruddins returning from injury, Chanel Hoffman has continued her stay atop the Gauchos' kills column since the start of conference play. After spending a majority of the last seven matches as UCSB's featured attacker, the junior has led the team with 91 kills. Her mark of 3.64 kills per set in league ranks eighth in the conference, but among those top eight hitters, her .228 kill percentage is the fourth-highest. The junior has attacked for fewer than 10 kills just once in league play, while she has recorded three of her team-leading six double-doubles during that time.
Hannah Juley has stood out as one of the Big West's best setters this season with 9.93 assists per set, which is fourth in the conference, while she has raised her average to 10.12 per set since the start of conference play. She is coming one of her best matches of the year at Cal State Fullerton where she finished with a season-high 50 assists. Overall this year, Juley has tallied 685 assists and is well on pace to record the most assists by a UCSB setter in a single season during the Welch era (2013). Since Welch's first season, the team utilized a 6-2 rotation, but, with Juley, the offense has mostly utilized the 5-1.
Emilia Petrachi has continued to strengthen her claim as one of the Big West's best liberos with her 4.72 digs per set average and 326 total digs, both of which are tops in the conference. Another strong effort this past weekend earned her second Defensive Player of the Week honor of the season, after she posted a 6.13 digs per set average against UC Riverside and Cal State Fullerton. The Italian national has registered at least 14 digs in seven of her last nine matchups, while she has reached double digits in the category in 18 of UCSB's 20 matches this season.
Helping fill in the hole in offensive production after Lindsey Ruddins went down with an injury, Rowan Ennis has managed to establish herself as one of UCSB's top offensive threats over the past three weeks, averaging 2.91 kills per set with a .282 hitting percentage. Her best offensive performance came at CSUN when she had a career-high 17 kills, while she registered back to back five block efforts at Long Beach State and versus UC Davis. The Virginia Beach native has started every Big West match and has reached at least nine kills in five of her last six matches.
UCSB stands as one of the Big West's best serving teams with 106 aces and 1.54 aces per set, ranking second and first in the conference, respectively. The Gauchos have carried their sharp service game into the conference schedule, as they rank second with 1.44 aces per set in league play. Lexi Rottman is UCSB's most prolific server with 23 total aces (0.35 per set), while both Maxine Burke and Hannah Juley have equaled the sophomore with a team-best five aces during conference play, As a team, the Gauchos had their best night at the line against CSUN with a season-high 10 aces.
As a team, the Gauchos have been a force to be reckoned with at the net, as they are currently second in the Big West with 2.55 blocks per set, behind only No. 13 Hawai'i. Phoebe Grunt ranks fifth in the conference with 0.96 blocks per set on the season, but it has been Rowan Ennis and Elizabeth Sheffield leading UCSB with roofs since the start of conference play. Ennis is eighth with 20 total blocks, while Sheffield ranks sixth with an average of 0.95 blocks per set.
After missing the first two Big West matches due to injury, Lindsey Ruddins has returned to the court in full force. She is coming off her best conference performances yet, as she averaged a double-double (12.5 kills and 10 digs) in two matches last weekend. She reached double-digit kills in each of her last two games, a mark she failed to reach just once in thirteen games before the injury. Ruddins has played a big role on UCSB's offense all season with 3.98 kills per set, which still ranks second in the league. What's more impressive is that her 235 kills total is the seventh-highest in the conference, despite her recent limited playing time. To start the season, the outside hitter earned three straight Big West Freshman of the Week awards.