Balanced Offensive Attack Carries Gauchos to 3-1 Win Over Aggies in Road Finale

Torre Glasker (Photo by Jeilo Gauna)
Torre Glasker (Photo by Jeilo Gauna)

DAVIS, Calif. – The UC Santa Barbara women's volleyball team picked up its first win of November on Saturday, using a balanced offensive attack to take down UC Davis in four sets, 25-18, 24-26, 25-22, 26-24.

UCSB's (15-11, 7-7) offense was consistent throughout, posting a collective hitting percentage above .240 in every set. It was the third time the Gauchos have done so this season, and the first time since the start of conference play. Lindsey Ruddins led the way with 23 kills (.279), the most she has had in her last four outings. That moved her into No. 4 all-time at UCSB, now sitting at 1,482 career kills.

No Gaucho was hotter than middle blocker Rowan Ennis though, who, despite setting a career-high with 35 kill attempts, managed to hit at a sterling .457 clip. The Virginia Beach, Va. native bested her previous all-time best with 18 kills on the day. Freshman Gigi Ruddins also set a new personal-high with 14 kills (.257).

Defensively, libero Emilia Petrachi was hard to beat, as she tallied 28 more digs (7.00 D/S), moving her into No. 4 in Big West history at 1,927 digs for her career. Her 505 digs during her senior year are tops in the conference, and just five shy of her career-high which she set last year.

It was Petrachi's fourth performance with at least 28 digs this season. The eight other teams in the Big West have combined for five.

Set one was close in the early-going, being knotted up at 8-8 following a Gigi Ruddins kill. An Olivia Lovenberg ace followed by back-to-back Aggie attacking errors would put the Gauchos ahead for good, as the younger Ruddins sister combined with Ennis for nine kills on a .500 opening set hitting percentage. Ennis and freshman Megan Lewis would both earn block assists on game point to award the Gauchos the 25-18 win.

Santa Barbara looked primed to take set two, leading it 24-20 before the home side closed things out with six unanswered points to even the match at 1-1.

The Gauchos were the ones fighting from behind in set three, finding themselves in a 21-16 hole. Davis would score just one point the rest of the way, as junior Torre Glasker put together a marvelous stretch from the service line, racking up three aces over an 8-0 UCSB run. Glasker ended her day with 17 digs.

A Lindsey Ruddins kill and an Aggie attacking error would see UCSB regain a one-set advantage, winning the set 25-22.

The decisive set would prove to be the closest of the day, providing 12 ties and four lead changes with neither team holding a lead larger than three points. Tied at 22-22, Lindsey Ruddins would pick up a kill on two of the Gauchos' next three points. UCSB once again clinched things on an Aggie attacking error, 26-24.

UCSB is set to close out the 2018 regular season at home, with games against Cal State Fullerton (Friday) and UC Riverside (Saturday) on Senior Night. Both games will start at 7:00 p.m.