Gaucho Win Streak Comes to an End in 3-2 Loss to UC Davis

Charlie Robinson (Photo by Jeilo Gauna)
Charlie Robinson (Photo by Jeilo Gauna)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – The UC Santa Barbara women's volleyball team's three-match winning streak came to an end Saturday night at the Thunderdome, as the Gauchos fell to UC Davis in five sets, 25-19, 25-23, 27-29, 19-25, 9-15.

In a match where parts of the box score looked inflated by the end of the night, the biggest performance on the Gauchos' side came from middle blocker Charlie Robinson. The junior from Pacific Palisades, Calif. completely shattered her previous offensive highs, going for 22 kills on an outstanding .526 hitting percentage. Her career-high entering the night was 14 kills.

"Sometimes I talk about a player getting in the zone, and Charlie was absolutely in the zone," head coach Nicole Lantagne Welch said. "They were sometimes sending two blockers at her and she was still scoring. It was by far the best she's ever done offensively for us and I think it's a great sign of things to come."

Redshirt junior outside hitter Lindsey Ruddins ended her night with a team-high 26 kills (.256), reaching that mark for the sixth time already this year. Freshman Olivia Lovenberg finished with 62 assists, the most of any Big West player this season.

It was the defensive end that ruled the night though, as the Aggies took a 104-102 advantage in digs – both setting season-highs – while the Gauchos outblocked the visitors 13-11. The 102 digs were the most of the Lantagne Welch era, nearly cracking the program's top-10. The 13 blocks were also a season-best for UCSB, as Rowan Ennis tied a personal-best with three solo blocks and set a season-high with eight blocks overall.

Unfortunately for the Gauchos, they ended the night on the wrong side of a 2-0 comeback. After controlling the first set en route to a 25-19 win, they came back late to steal the second set, 25-23.

With UCSB leading 23-17 in set three, momentum would shift the Aggies way. With its back against the wall, UC Davis reeled off seven straight points, eventually winning the set 29-27. The Aggies controlled set four throughout, winning it 25-19 to force a decisive fifth set.

The Aggies trailed 2-1 in the final set, but would tie things up and control it the rest of the way, eventually winning it, 15-9.

There were a season-high five Gauchos finishing with at least 10 digs. Senior libero Emilia Petrachi led the way with 27 scoops, moving into No. 2 in program history now with 1,735 in her career. Junior Torre Glasker had 22 digs to go along with nine kills. Freshman Zoe Fleck set a personal-best with 15 digs, while Lovenberg and Ruddins tallied 13 and 11, respectively.

Santa Barbara will remain home for its next two matches, beginning with Tuesday's matchup against Cal State Northridge.