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    HomeSportsUC Santa Barbara Women's Volleyball Earns First Big West Win Against UC...

    UC Santa Barbara Women’s Volleyball Earns First Big West Win Against UC San Diego Tritons

    The UC Santa Barbara Women’s Volleyball team (11-2) kicked off Big West play as the Gauchos traveled south to La Jolla, California, to take on the UC San Diego Tritons. In just three sets the Gauchos got the job done as they swept the Tritons (25-20, 25-15, 25-23).

    FROM HEAD COACH MATT JONES
    “Credit goes to our team for making life really hard for their outside hitter, Ava McInnes. She’s one of the best point scorers in the conference and we did a nice job of making her uncomfortable. For the most part, we made really good decisions offensively, which led to a smooth outing. It’s now time to shift our focus to Long Beach.”

    HOW IT HAPPENED
    It was a slow start for the Gauchos as they worked to find their groove. UC San Diego took the early lead off several errors by Santa Barbara. However, the Gauchos chipped away at the four-point lead the Tritons built, tying the set up at 10’s before Briana McKnight went on a five-point service run to get her team back on top. With the help of Michelle Ohwobete and Andi Kreiling, putting up four kills each, Santa Barbara closed out the first set 25-20.

    From there, the Gauchos did not let up. Santa Barbara took the first lead of the set before the Tritons tied things up at 8-8. That was the last time this set would be tied. UC San Diego could not find an answer to the Gauchos as the visitors went on an 8-1 run led by Grace McIntosh and McKnight. That was all UC Santa Barbara needed as they secured the second set 25-15.

    Santa Barbara picked up right where they left off. They started the third set on a 5-0 run with McIntosh at the service line. The hot start didn’t keep the Tritons at bay as they did not want to go down on their home court without a fight. UC San Diego slowly closed the gap throughout the third set, coming within one at the very end. This was as close as the Gauchos would allow their opponents to get. Ohwobete grabbed the final kill of the match, ending this set with a score of 25-23. This third set win gave UC Santa Barbara their first Big West win and their sixth sweep of the season.

    LOOKING AT THE NUMBERS

    • Ohwobete ended the match as the team’s leader in kills, putting up 11. This is the 11th match of the season where she finished with double-digit kills. Along with that, Ohwobete led the team in aces with two while helping out on defense with nine digs and three blocks, two of which were solo blocks.
    • McKnight had the second-most kills on the team with eight as she was also a huge part of the team’s defensive efforts. She concluded her final game in La Jolla with 14 digs to go along with three blocks.
    • The middle blockers were the most efficient hitters for the Gauchos. Kreiling finished the match with a .500 clip, recording seven kills and only one error on 12 swings. Grace Wuischpard, on the other hand, put up a .444 hitting percentage with five kills and one error on nine swings.
    • Macall Peed anchored the back row defense as she put up 19 digs in this three-set match. Kreiling helped her out in the front row as she registered five blocks.
    • McIntosh and Michelle Zhao were the playmakers in their 6-2 offense. McIntosh put up the most assists with 19 while Zhao added on 15. To go along with her 19 assists, McIntosh contributed 11 digs for a double-double, her fourth of the season.

    UP NEXT
    The Gauchos will start making their way back to Santa Barbara, but not before stopping at The Pyramid to take on Long Beach State, who defeated Cal Poly in a five-set thriller. First serve against the Beach will be at 7 p.m. with a live stream through ESPN+.

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