Gauchos Set to Host Blue-Green Rival Cal Poly Saturday at 5 PM

Gauchos Set to Host Blue-Green Rival Cal Poly Saturday at 5 PM

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Big West TV

• The Schedule 
Saturday, October 14, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. PDT
UC Santa Barbara vs. No. 24 Cal Poly (16-2, 6-0 Big West)
at the Thunderdome
Stream: Big West TV
All-time record vs. Mustangs: 49-28
Record in Lantagne Welch era: 5-3
Streak vs. CP: Won 1
2016: UCSB went 1-1 against Cal Poly
Last meeting: W, 3-0 (10/28/16)

Tuesday, October 17, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. PDT
UC Santa Barbara vs. UC Davis (9-9, 1-4 Big West)
at The Pavillion in Davis, Calif. 
Stream: Big West TV
All-time record vs. Aggies: 20-8
Record in Lantagne Welch era: 4-4
Streak vs. UCD: Won 2 
2016: UCSB went 2-0 against UC Davis
Last meeting: W, 3-2 (11/3/16)

• Up Next
This week, UCSB returns to the Thunderdome for its first home match in three weeks, hosting Blue-Green rival Cal Poly on Saturday, Oct. 14 with an earlier-than-usual start time of 5:00 p.m. After that, the Gauchos will trek north for a Tuesday contest at UC Davis – one of two midweek matches scheduled for this season – before starting the second half of league play with home contests against Long Beach State and CSUN.  

• Gauchos on the Air
Both of UCSB's matches over the next week, and all league matches this season, will be streamed live through Big West TV. In addition, the Gauchos are set to make a third appearance on ESPN3 for Nov. 18's contest at UC Riverside. Links to all broadcasts can be found on the women's volleyball schedule page on UCSBGauchos.com.

• The Week in Review
After starting off league play with home wins over UC Riverside and Cal State Fullerton, UCSB dropped its third straight Big West match at Hawai'i Saturday night, 3-0. Lindsey Ruddins led the Gauchos with 11 kills on the night but UCSB was outhit .252 to .038 as a team. Libero Emilia Petrachi had a strong performance for the Gauchos, posting 21 digs over three sets, nearly twice as many as any other player on either side. 

• Lantagne Welch Earns Career Win Number 300
UCSB's 3-0 victory over UC Riverside on Sept. 22 gave head coach Nicole Lantagne Welch the 300th win of her esteemed career. In her 17th season overall as a head coach (12 years at Miami), she is the winningest active coach in the Big West. 58 of Lantagne Welch's 301 career victories have come as the bench boss for UCSB, a position she took over before the 2013 season.

• Seeing Double
A quartet of UCSB players have recorded double-doubles this season, led by five from Lindsey Ruddins. Other Gauchos to join the double-double club include sophomore outside hitter Chloe Allen (four), and junior setters Annie Hasselmann and Lexi Rottman (one apiece). 

• Ruddins Is Killing It
A year after breaking out with an attention-grabbing freshman season, UCSB outside hitter Lindsey Ruddins is continuing her strong play in 2017. The Aliso Viejo, Calif. native ranks second in the nation and first in the Big West with a 5.42 kills per set average. Emphasizing her importance to the squad, she's also second in the NCAA with a 14.23 swings per set average. The reigning Big West Freshman of the Year has led the Gauchos in kills in 12 of the 13 matches she's appeared in, and usually by a wide margin (an average of 9.8 kills more than the next-highest Gaucho over the last 12 matches). Earlier this season, she set a UCSB rally scoring era record with 36 kills against No. 15 Florida State, narrowly missing out on the program's all-time mark (38) set by Roberta Gehlke in 1999. Those 36 kills are also the most by any NCAA player in a single match this season. She has been a Big West Player of the Week nominee four times over the first seven weeks of the campaign and UCSB is hitting over 100 points higher with her in the lineup (.199) than without (.096).

• Petrachi is Digging 2017
One of the top liberos on the west coast, Emilia Petrachi has continued to pad her already-strong resume with an extremely productive 2017 campaign. The Modena, Italy native leads the league this year with a 5.20 digs per set average, up from her career mark of 4.76. She has stepped up her game even more in Big West action, notching a 6.75 digs per set average which is two digs more than the No. 2 player in the conference (UC Davis's Malia Bolko, 4.75 per set). Three weeks ago, Petrachi had 28 digs in just three sets against Cal State Fullerton, which the highest of any Big West player in a three-set match this season, a personal career-high for a three-setter, and just two off her overall career high of 30 (Aug. 29, 2015 vs. Pepperdine), which took her four sets to amass. Petrachi has reached double-digit digs in every match this season and has gone over 20 seven times this year and 25 times in her career. 

• Holding Them Down
Thanks to improved serving (1.69 aces per game in league play, second in Big West) and consistently strong play from back row players like Petrachi, UCSB has limited opponents to a .198 hitting percentage in conference action, good for third-best in the league. 

• Scoops for Everyone
Heading into the weekend, UCSB has out-dug its opponent in six straight contests, dating back to Sept. 16 against Eastern Kentucky. Over that span, the Gauchos have averaged 9.16 more digs than their foes, including an 18-dig spread against Cal State Fullerton on Sept. 23. 

• Frosh Phenoms
UCSB has started as many as four freshmen in a match this season, and each of those first-year players has acquitted themselves well at various points this season. Middle blocker Nicole Omwanghe was named the league's Freshman of the Week after the first weekend of conference play, and she ranks in the top-10 in the Big West in both hitting (.321) and blocking (1.06 per game) in league matches. Fellow middle Kjia Rivers has averaged over 0.53 blocks per set, and was a standout at the Thunderdome Classic (20 kills, 12 blocks). Defensive specialist Kobie Jimenez has recorded double-digit digs in three contests and has been in the starting lineup for seven matches, and middle blocker Amanda Serex is hitting .207 and has started seven of the last nine matches.