October 6, 2007

Gauchos Suffer Heartbreaking Five Game Loss To Cal State Fullerton

Oct. 6, 2007

Box Score

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The UC Santa Barbara women's volleyball team fell to Big West Conference foe Cal State Fullerton in five games on Saturday evening in the Thunderdome. Trailing 2-1, the Gauchos rallied and took game four but were unable to seal the win, dropping the match, 30-21, 27-30, 30-26, 25-30, 15-12.

With the loss, UCSB falls to 6-11 on the season and 1-4 in Big West matches. The Titans improve to 8-8 overall and 3-2 in conference play.

Junior outside hitter Lauren McLaughlin led the Gauchos with 20 kills in the match; she also collected 16 digs for her 13th double-double of the season. Senior middle blocker Brett Quirarte hit a team-best .387 with 16 kills on 31 attempts with just four errors. The Long Beach, Calif. native also had three solo blocks in the loss.

Sophomore Rebecca Saraceno contributed 17 kills and 18 digs in the loss while junior Leigh Stephenson led the Gauchos with 24 digs. Freshman setter Jessica Welch tallied a season-high 50 assists in the match along with 13 digs for the Gauchos.

Brittany Moore led the Titan effort posting 28 kills and 25 digs along with five block assists in the win. Jennifer Francisco tallied 24 kills and a .382 clip along with 11 digs. Julie Geissert had 62 assists while libero Cami Croteau had 31 digs.

In game one, Fullerton jumped out to an early 6-0 lead to start the game. The Titans dominated the frame outhitting the Gauchos .351 to .022 behind six kills from Moore. Fullerton took the game at 30-21.

The second game was tight as the two teams battled through five tied scores. Trailing 20-17, UCSB posted a 5-1 run to recapture the lead at 22-21. The Gauchos steadily pulled away from Fullerton and a kill from McLaughlin brought them to game-point. Two kills from Fullerton ensued, but an error by the Titans gave UCSB the 30-27 win and tied the teams at one game apiece before they headed into the locker rooms.

The third frame was another tight one, as the teams remained close through the first half of the game. With the match tied at 18-18, two straight kills from Fullerton captured what would be the final lead. Though the Gauchos slightly outhit the Titans, .261 to .246, Fullerton was able to grab the game at 30-26.

Game four was all UCSB as it claimed an early 7-1 advantage fueled by three kills from Quirarte. The Gauchos held Fullerton at bay the entire game and a final kill by Saraceno gave UCSB the 30-25 win and forced a fifth game.

With game five tied at 3-3, Fullerton posted a 6-1 run to take a 9-4 lead. The Gauchos attempted to chip away at their deficit, but the Titans held tight to the lead to take the match with a 15-12 win in the final frame.

UCSB will continue Big West action next Thursday, Oct. 11 when they host No. 24 Cal Poly in the Thunderdome. First serve is scheduled for 7 pm.

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