Sept. 7, 2007
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Junior middle blocker Brett Quirarte posted a season-high 19 kills, but it was not enough as UC Santa Barbara's women's volleyball team fell to No. 18 San Diego, 30-26, 31-33, 22-30, 19-30 on Friday evening in the opening match of the USD Invitational being held today and Saturday at the Torero's Jenny Craig Pavilion.
With the loss, UCSB falls to 2-5 on the season, its slowest start since the 2001 season when the Gauchos posted the identical record in their first seven matches. No. 18 USD is now 3-3 on the year. This match marked the first this season for UCSB against a team ranked in the CSTV/AVCA Top-25 Coaches Poll.
Quirarte was solid for the Gauchos with her season-high 19 kills on 32 attempts with just two errors for a .531 hitting percentage. The Long Beach, Calif. native also posted five digs and four block assists in the loss. Junior Lauren McLaughlin pitched in her sixth double-double of the season but struggled with her productivity as she collected 11 kills on 46 attempts with eight errors for a .065 clip. The outside hitter tallied 12 digs in the match.
Sophomore outside hitter Rebecca Saraceno also had 11 kills, but like McLaughlin, she struggled, hitting just .022 on the match (11 kills, 10 errors, 45 attempts). The Redondo Beach, Calif. native did have two of the Gauchos' four service aces and also dug up nine balls.
Freshman setter Dana Vargas tallied six kills with a .600 clip in addition to her 43 assists and eight digs. She also tallied three block assists. Junior libero Leigh Stephenson had 21 scoops in the match and freshman Charlene DeHoog led all players with five block assists.
For the Toreros, Amy DeGroot led with her 20 kills and 12 digs. Laurel Abrahamson hit .438 on the match with 17 kills on 32 attempts with three errors and also had three solo blocks and two assisted blocks. Setter Jessica Nyrop had a match-high 49 assists while Andrea Csaszi tallied 23 digs.
The Torero's scored first in game one, but that was the last time they saw the lead in that frame as the Gauchos commanded the rest of the game and took it by way of a 30-26 score. UCSB outhit USD .162 to .041 in the frame.
Game two proved to be more of a battle as the teams tied on nine occasions. The Toreros reached game point first but back-to-back kills from Saraceno and Quirarte tied the game at 29-29. The two teams traded a pair of points before kills by Torey Ellick and former Gaucho Jaimarie Sutherland captured the game for USD at 33-31.
Despite trailing early in game three, USD was able to overcome the deficit and tie the frame up at 8-8. The Toreros' posted three straight points to commandeer the lead and they never looked back. The Gauchos climbed back within one point at 16-15 but were unable to regain the lead as USD took the game, 30-23.
The final frame saw nine early ties and four lead changes before USD broke free from a 12-12 tie with a 5-0 run. The Gauchos attempted to chip away at the Toreros' lead, but with the score at 23-18, USD outscored the Gauchos 7-0 to reach match point. A kill by DeGroot sealed the win for the Toreros at 30-19. In the final game, USD outhit the Gauchos .439 to .194.
UCSB continues action at the USD Invitational with 2006 Sweet 16 participant Oklahoma on Saturday at noon. The Gauchos will conclude tournament play tomorrow with a match versus first-time opponent Virginia at 5 pm.