Gauchos Rally, Close Out Regular Season With Win Over SDSU

Nov. 24, 2009

Box Score

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Never mind how they started. It was all about how the UC Santa Barbara women's volleyball team ended.

Carrying a two-games-to-none deficit into the third set on Tuesday night, the Gauchos broke out their latest rally, defeating upstart San Diego State, 25-27, 17-25, 25-19, 25-18, 15-11.

A loss to the Aztecs - at home, no less - could have seriously hampered UCSB's chances of making the NCAA Tournament as San Diego State (14-15) had a Ratings Percentage Index of 102.

As it stands now, the Gauchos, at 22-7 overall, should hear their name called on Sunday when the NCAA Tournament bracket is released. The official tournament release will come out at noon on ESPNews.

Behind Big West Player of the Year Rebecca Saraceno (21 kills, eight digs, two service aces, three block assists), First Team honoree Stacey Schmidt (13 kills, five digs, a career-high three solo blocks and three more block assists) and First Team selection Dana Vargas (54 assists, 10 digs, one solo block, three block assists and a service ace) the Gauchos rallied back.

After losing the first set despite holding a 24-19 advantage, the Gauchos withered in the second set. In the third set, UCSB came out with a vengeance, swinging at a .355 clip as Saraceno had five kills, Schmidt had three more and as a team UCSB tallied six team blocks. Overall, the Gauchos had 14.0 blocks on the night, helping hold SDSU to a .179 hitting percentage.

Buoyed by the momentum swing, UCSB rolled in the third set, as Saraceno led the team with six kills, Schmidt had three more and Lily Lopez, who finished with 12 kills, added four.

Yet, after jumping out to a 9-3 advantage in the fifth set, the Aztecs rallied and made it 13-11 before a service error and a kill by Saraceno ended it.

The senior from Redondo Beach, Calif. moved up on UCSB's career kills leaderboard, passing Katie Crawford (1995=98) for eighth all-time. Saraceno's two service aces tie her for seventh all-time in school history.

Chelsey Lowe led the Gauchos with 19 digs while Leah Sully added 14. Kasey Kipp had seven kills to go with a solo block and three block assists. Lopez also had a solo block and five block assists.

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.

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