Nov. 21, 2009
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Clearly, on Senior Night no less, the UC Santa Barbara women's volleyball team would be led by Rebecca Saraceno. Although the Gauchos have one more home match, Saraceno's senior celebration took place on Saturday and the All-American candidate celebrated by leading the Gauchos to a 25-15, 25-21, 25-18 victory over Cal State Northridge.
Saraceno, playing for the first time since injuring her knee on Nov. 7 at Cal Poly, notched a team-leading 10 kills, had a team-best eight digs and added a service ace and two block assists for good measure. The victory improves the Gauchos' mark to 21-7 overall and 11-5 in the Big West. UCSB secured second place in the conference.
Cal State Northridge was led by Britney Graff, who had 11 kills. The Matadors fall to 8-22, 4-12. The Gauchos swept the Matadors in both meetings this season.
UC Irvine lost to Long Beach State on Saturday, meaning the Gauchos finished conference play in second place, UCSB's best finish in the Big West since winning the league crown in 2005. Though UCSB and UCI hold the same 11-5 conference mark, the Gauchos defeated UCI twice, earning the tiebreaker. UCSB will find out if it returns to the NCAA Tournament next Sunday, Nov. 29.
Making things easier for Saraceno was the fact that Lily Lopez had seven kills, Stacey Schmidt added six and Kasey Kipp and Charlene DeHoog had five apiece. Kipp had a solo block and six block assists as the Gauchos tallied 9.5 total team blocks. Schmidt had four block assists.
UCSB had little trouble vs. CSUN, only trading five lead changes with the Matadors all night - with all those coming in the second set.
The Gauchos close out the regular season on Tuesday vs. San Diego State in a 7 p.m. match at the Thunderdome. To purchase tickets, please call (805) 893-UCSB, visit the Ticket Office located inside the Intercollegiate Athletics building on campus or click here.
UCSB Athletics has a new weekly radio show called Talk'n Gauchos which airs every Tuesday from 6-7 p.m. on AM 1490 KIST. The show is broadcast live from State & A Bar and Grill, located on the corner of State Street and Anapamu Street in Santa Barbara. Fans are encouraged to attend the show for free gear and ticket giveaways or to even e-mail a question in to one of the guests and have it read live over the air. The show also airs live online via audio streaming and fans can click here to check out the entire lineup of live audio streaming online.
UCSB Athletics is proud to introduce GKids - its new official kids club! GKids members will receive a free GKids t-shirt, free admittance to tons of Gaucho games, opportunities to be ball boys and girls at games, a special birthday greeting from Olie (the new GKids mascot) and much, much more! For more information on GKids, or to become a member, please click here.