UC SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The UC Santa Barbara Women’s Volleyball team (17-2) entered the most pivotal week of The Big West slate tonight as they took on rivals Cal Poly for the first leg of the Blue-Green Rivalry. In just three sets, UC Santa Barbara came out with the win as the Gauchos, with the help of Tasia Farmer and Andi Kreiling on offense, took down Cal Poly for their eighth sweep of the season (25-17, 25-19, 25-20).
FROM HEAD COACH MATT JONES
“Sweeping a rival is always great. I am excited to play them at their place in a few weeks. They had a rough night; we all have them. But tonight, we will take it. I thought our team executed well on the scouting report. We were able to stop the 5-1 lineup they were in and make them go to a 6-2 offense to change the flow. At the end of the day, it was a good, solid win.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The first set started off strong for the Gauchos as Grace McIntosh went on a 4-0 run from the very first serve. With the help of Farmer’s six kills and Kreiling’s four, the Gauchos pulled ahead in the match with a 25-17 win.
The second started exactly the same as the first, except this time, Briana McKnight led the charge from the service line. UC Santa Barbara went on a 7-0 as the Mustangs could not find an answer. Even though Cal Poly got within three, that’s as close as they could get. The Gauchos closed out the second set 25-19.
Cal Poly was ready to fight back in the third set. The Mustangs took the first three points, giving them their first lead of the entire match. This was short-lived, though, as UC Santa Barbara picked up the pace. They tied up the score at 6’s before pulling ahead. From there, the Gauchos could not be stopped as they took down the Mustangs in the third and final set 25-20.
LOOKING AT THE NUMBERS
· Farmer had a night to remember as she set a new career-high in kills. She finished the three-set match with 18 kills while only making two errors, resulting in a .667 hitting percentage. To top it all off, she also added on two blocks on defense.
· Kreiling was close behind her, contributing nine kills with only two errors as she put up a .583. She also shared in the team’s defensive success, notching four blocks, three of which were solo blocks.
· Grace Wuischpard continued to show everyone in The Thunderdome why she is the reigning Big West Defensive Player of the Week. She finished the night with five blocks, two of which were solo blocks.
· McKnight was very efficient on offense, securing eight kills with no errors for a .444 hitting percentage.
· Grace McIntosh continues to be a leader on the team. She had the most assists on the team with 27 while she also led the team in digs with eight.
The Gauchos will have a quick turnaround in The Thunderdome, this time, hosting the Rainbow Wahine of Hawai’i for a Big West matchup. First serve will be at 7 p.m. with a live stream available through ESPN+.
(article courtesy of UCSB Athletics).