September 5, 2008

Gauchos Drop Hard-Fought Opening Match at USF Asics/Powerade Challenge

Sept. 5, 2008

Box Score

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - The University of San Francisco captured a 3-1 win (26-24, 20-25, 28-26, 27-25) over the UC Santa Barbara women's volleyball team Friday evening on the opening day of the USF Asics/Powerade Challenge at the Dons' War Memorial Gym. The two teams battled through 45 ties during the four-set match and saw a total of 17 lead changes.

With the loss, UCSB falls to 1-2 on the early season while USF improves to an even 2-2 overall record.

The match, however, was not without its highs for the Gauchos as sophomore outside hitter Charlene DeHoog hit a career-best 14 kills in the match while adding nine digs and three block assists. Sophomore middle blocker Kasey Kipp also had a career-best showing with 12 kills. She led the team with her .409 clip (3e, 22att) and also chipped in five block assists.

Junior outside hitter Rebecca Saraceno, who notched 15 kills along with three service aces and seven digs, paced the Gauchos offensively. Sophomore setter Dana Vargas was impressive, dishing out 49 assists and tallying 15 digs for the first double-double performance by a Gaucho this season. Vargas also chipped in three kills and accounted for UCSB's remaining two service aces.

Seniors Lauren McLaughlin and Leigh Stephenson were also solid. McLaughlin pitched in 11 kills and nine digs, one scoop shy of a double-double, while Stephenson led the squad with 19 digs.

Three players posted 15 kills for USF: Carly Babin, Sarah Mandala, and Alix Gombos, who hit an impressive .609 (1e, 23att) during the match. Darcy Caroll handed out 33 assists and Alaina Sully had 20. Haley Caroll led the squad with 18 digs.

After losing the first set, 26-24, the Gauchos came back and dominated the second, holding the lead the entire way and posting the biggest margin of victory during the match, 25-20.

It was all USF the rest of the way though, as the Dons battled their way to a 28-26 win in set three before closing the door in set four with a 27-25 victory.

UCSB continues action at the tournament tomorrow with an afternoon pairing with Utah State at 1:00 p.m. before concluding play against UT Arlington at 5:00 p.m.

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