Gauchos Tripped Up in Utah State Tournament Doubleheader

Chloe Allen (photo by Eric Isaacs)
Chloe Allen (photo by Eric Isaacs)

LOGAN, Utah – UC Santa Barbara dropped both ends of a doubleheader in the final day of the Utah State Tournament on Saturday, falling 3-1 to Pacific in the morning before being dealt a three-set defeat by the host Aggies in the nightcap. 

Junior defensive specialist Emilia Petrachi ended up as the Gauchos' (0-6) representative on the All-Tournament Team. The Modena, Italy native racked up 28 digs on Saturday after posting 24 in the opening match of the tournament on Friday. 

After spending the first two weekends of the year on the road, UCSB returns home next week to host the Thunderdome Classic on Friday, Sept. 8 and Saturday, Sept. 9. Besides the Gauchos, the tourney field includes USC, Yale, and Arkansas. 

Pacific Recap

A season-best 15.5 team blocks and the second 20-kill performance of the season by sophomore outside hitter Lindsey Ruddins proved to be not enough for UCSB against former Big West-mate Pacific, which hit a solid .320 for the match. 

Ruddins, a Laguna Niguel native, has accrued 73 kills over her last three matches, including a rally-era program record 36 against Florida State on Aug. 26. She is averaging an impressive 5.6 kills per set over that span. 

With a career-high 10 blocks, sophomore middle blocker Rowan Ennis led the Gaucho effort at the net, but junior setter Annie Hasselmann also set a new personal best with seven blocks of her own. 

After falling behind 2-0, the Gauchos hit .310 in the third set against the Tigers to avert a sweep. Ruddins, sophomore right side Charlie Robinson (six kills, three digs for the match), and freshman middle Nicole Omwanghe (five kills, four blocks) all recorded three kills to lead a balanced UCSB attack, while Ennis had four blocks in the third set alone. 

Pacific (3-3) had a pair of hitters with dominant performances in Emily Baptista (23 kills on .450 hitting) and Ashlyn Fleming (17 kills on .727 hitting). 

Utah State Recap

Sophomore outside hitter Chloe Allen was the Gauchos' top performer in the nightcap, putting down a 10-kill, 12-dig double-double and leading the team with a pair of service aces.

Behind Allen, Hasselmann and freshman middle Kjia Rivers had seven kills apiece, while Petrachi was UCSB's top back row player with a team-high 15 digs. 

The third set was the closest of the match, with the two teams playing tight up until a 17-17 tie. Unfortunately for the Gauchos, the Aggies (4-2) reeled off seven straight points as part of an 8-1 run to close out the set and the match. 

Utah State outhit UCSB .276 to .085 for the contest.