LONG BEACH, Calif. – The UC Santa Barbara women's volleyball suffered a 3-0 (25-23, 25-21, 25-19) defeat at the hands of Long Beach State on Saturday night at the Walter Pyramid.
The loss came despite solid nights from sophomore outside hitters Lindsey Ruddins (team-high 18 kills, nine digs) and Chloe Allen (13 kills, 12 digs, her fourth double-double of the year). For Allen, it was her first start since suffering an injury back on Sept. 2. The Gauchos' record dropped to 3-13 overall and 2-2 in Big West matches with the loss.
LBSU meanwhile improved to 5-12, 2-2. The 49ers were led by Brooke Earkman's 15 kills and outhit the Gauchos .267 to .202 for the match.
Long Beach State used a 4-0 run early in the first set to take a 12-9 lead, then nursed that lead until the Gauchos scratched and clawed to make it a one-point game late. Ruddins contributed her eighth and ninth kills of the set to keep UCSB within reach at 22-23 and 23-24, but the 49ers ultimately clinched the set on the next play as the Gauchos served long.
UCSB would go on to outhit Long Beach .297 to .292 in the second set, but that wasn't enough to overcome a 6-1 run from the hosts off a 14-14 tie. The Gauchos, who received seven kills from Allen and another five from Ruddins in the stanza, did well to knot the score midway through as LBSU opened up the middle game on another 6-1 run.
The Gauchos struggled to get their offense going in the third, hitting a match-low .029 for the frame. The 49ers dominated at the net in the game, outblocking UCSB 5.5-1. The decisive run in the final game came off a 6-6 tie, with the 49ers reeling off six straight to take a commanding 12-6 lead.
Next week, UCSB wraps up a three-match road swing with a Friday night showdown at Hawai'i (10-5, 4-0). First serve for that match is scheduled for 10:00 p.m. PDT. The Gauchos' next home match is set for Oct. 14 against Blue-Green rival Cal Poly at 5:00 p.m.