Nov. 12, 2010
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The UC Santa Barbara women's volleyball team survived a scare at the start of their final homestand of the 2010 season.
After losing three of their last four matches, the Gauchos found themselves on the fringe of the postseason picture. Then the Gauchos found themselves down two sets to none against UC Davis, with whom they only had one game of separation in the standings.
However, UCSB stormed back on the power of Charlene DeHoog's double-double (16 kills and 13 digs), taking the final three sets for an overall match score of 18-25, 21-25, 25-23, 29-27, 15-10. UCSB returned the favor from less than a month ago when the Gauchos held a 2-0 lead in Davis and succumbed to the Aggies in five.
The Gauchos improved their conference record to 9-5 (15-12 overall), while the Aggies dropped to an even 7-7 record (16-11 overall). The Gauchos were led by DeHoog as well as freshman libero Kelly Heenan, who recorded a team-high 14 digs.
Unfortunately, the win does little for the team's postseason prospects, as Cal State Fullerton, Long Beach State and Cal Poly all recorded victories.
In the first set, the Gauchos couldn't overcome a sluggish start and five kills from UC Davis senior outside hitter Kayla Varney, who dominated the floor in the first frame. Still, the set was relatively tight, and the Gauchos received three kills on five attempts from senior middle blocker Kasey Kipp.
A back-and-forth second set again saw an Aggie outside hitter take over, as Allison Whitson recorded seven kills in the set. After 12 ties and four lead changes, UC Davis pulled away after a kill from Whitson and a kill-block combo from junior middle blocker Betsy Sedlak put them up 22-19.
In the closest set of a match that included 50 ties and 24 lead changes, the Gauchos got back into the game on the strength of freshman outside hitter Kara Sherrard's four kills and junior middle blocker Lily Lopez's four kills on just 8 attacks. The dramatic set saw the Gauchos relinquish a 21-17 lead before eventually prevailing 25-23.
The Gauchos continued their charge in the fourth set, punctuated by DeHoog's five kills. UCSB had a scare, as they were down 26-27, but rallied off three straight points to take the set. Sherrard contributed a kill and a service ace late in the set to lead the Gauchos.
The decisive fifth set was highlighted by the conspicuous absent of Aggie Kayla Varney. UCSB took advantage of her absence, as Lopez and DeHoog recorded three kills apiece. The match ended on an emphathic block by Kipp. Unlike the first four sets, the last saw the Gauchos hold the lead the entire time.
Sherrard and Kipp each had 12 kills while senior setter Dana Vargas had 49 assists. Kipp added two solo blocks as the Gauchos accrued 9.0 team blocks. Vargas also tallied a double-double - her team-high 12th of the season - as she added 11 digs.
The Gauchos finish their home schedule on Saturday night vs. Pacific as seniors Charlene DeHoog, Kasey Kipp and Dana Vargas will be honored. Tickets are available by calling (805) 893-UCSB or by clicking here.
The Intercollegiate Athletics Ticket Office has two parking spaces adjacent to the building and is now open on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., making it easier than ever for fans to purchase tickets. The two parking spots, designated specifically for the Ticket Office, are also available during weekday hours, which are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The Gaucho Fund, launched as part of the Dare to Be Great strategic plan, is UCSB Athletics' annual giving program to provide vital funding support for scholarships, academic success and leadership development for Gaucho student-athletes. The Gaucho Fund is the anchor to the Dare to Be Great campaign.