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    HomeSportsUC Santa Barbara Women's Volleyball Returns To Thunderdome For Big West Play

    UC Santa Barbara Women’s Volleyball Returns To Thunderdome For Big West Play

    UC Santa Barbara Women's Volleyball will face Cal State Fullerton and UC Irvine.

    The UC Santa Barbara Women’s Volleyball team (12-2) returns to The Thunderdome for the first time in over a month, continuing Big West play on their home court. This weekend, the Gauchos will take on the Titans of Cal State Fullerton (1-10) and the Anteaters of UC Irvine (3-10) for matches on Friday and Saturday evening.

    LAST TIME OUT

    The Gauchos made the trip south for their first two Big West matches against UC San Diego and Long Beach State. On the first night against the Tritons, UC Santa Barbara came out with a big three-set win to start conference play strong. From there, the Gauchos took on the Beach, who received votes in the national polls earlier in the season. The Blue and Gold got the job done there, too, defeating Long Beach State in four sets. This put the Gauchos at a 2-0 start in The Big West, which was good enough to earn votes in the AVCA Top 25 Coaches Poll for the first time since 2019.

    TAKING ON THE TITANS

    Cal State Fullerton has faced some tough opponents heading into Big West play, including matches against Kansas State, Portland and San Diego State. The Titans’ one win this season came against American. To kick off Big West play, Cal State Fullerton dropped a five-set match to UC Davis and a three-setter to UC Riverside.

    Ameena Campbell has been the biggest offensive weapon for the Titans as she is second in The Big West in attacks per set while leading the team in kills with 127. The freshman outside hitter is also leading the team in digs with 123.

    The Titans run a 5-1 offense with freshman Ryleigh Garis serving as the team’s primary setter. She currently has 338 assists.

    The middle blockers for the Titans have been very efficient for their team. Aaliyah Fasavalu and Bianca Martinez have 32 and 31 blocks, respectively.

    Cal State Fullerton is coached by Nicole Vargas Polster, who is in her third season with the program. She has accumulated an overall record of 26-40 in that time.

    ANTICIPATING THE ANTEATERS

    UC Irvine competed against multiple Power Five programs during the non-conference season including Boston College, Washington State and BYU. During that slate, the Anteaters defeated Chicago State and Jacksonville State. To kick off The Big West schedule, Irvine took down UC Riverside before losing a five-set match to UC Davis.

    The Anteaters rank in the Top 100 in the NCAA in two different stat categories: total team attacks per set (28th) and digs per set (67th). Individually, Campbell Jensen is third in The Big West when it comes to digs per set as she averages 4.24.

    The offense is led by pin hitters Marianna Bertolone and Hunter Riedl. Outside hitter Bertolone has the most kills on the team with 130 followed by opposite Riedl, who has 122 kills this season.

    Freshman setter Nicole Feliciano leads the team in assists with 336 and is second in digs with 113.

    The Anteaters are coached by Ashlie Hain, who is in her ninth overall season with the program. She has accumulated an 111-110 record in that time.

    WHEREABOUTS

    The Gauchos will face the Titans on Friday, Sept. 29 before matching up against the Anteaters on Saturday, Sept. 30. Both matches will begin at 7 p.m. in The Thunderdome with live streams on ESPN+ and live stats through StatBroadcast.

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