UCSB Closes Out Homestand by Hosting Hawai'i Saturday at Rob Gym

UCSB Closes Out Homestand by Hosting Hawai'i Saturday at Rob Gym

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Big West TV

• The Schedule 
Saturday, October 28, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. PDT
UC Santa Barbara vs. Hawai'i (15-6, 9-1 Big West)
at Rob Gym
Stream: Big West TV
All-time record vs. Rainbow Wahine: 6-37
Record in Lantagne Welch era: 1-8
Streak vs. UH: Lost 8
2016: UCSB went 0-2 against Hawai'i
Last meeting: L, 3-0 (10/6/17 @ UH)

• Up Next
This week, UC Santa Barbara will host Hawai'i in the last of a three-match homestand and as part of a stretch that will see the Gauchos play five of six matches at home. Saturday's contest against the Rainbow Wahine will be played at a different venue and time than normal, with first serve scheduled for 5:00 p.m. at Rob Gym.

• Parking Advisory
UCSB volleyball fans should be advised that, due to the Halloween weekend, Lot 27 (Thunderdome lot) on the campus of UCSB will be closed starting at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday. Fans are instead encouraged to park at either Lot 18 (Mesa Structure off Ocean Road, across from the entrance to the Rec Center) or Lot 22 (Structure adjacent to the Thunderdome and Lot 27). 

• Gauchos on the Air
UCSB's single match this week, and all league matches this season, will be streamed live through Big West TV. In addition, the Gauchos are set to make a third appearance on ESPN3 for Nov. 18's contest at UC Riverside. Links to all broadcasts can be found on the women's volleyball schedule page on UCSBGauchos.com.

• The Week in Review
Thanks to contributions up and down the lineup including a nationally-recognized performance from sophomore outside hitter Lindsey Ruddins, UCSB was able to go 3-0 last week, knocking off UC Davis on the road before returning home to get its revenge in home victories over Long Beach State and CSUN. The Gauchos outblocked UCD 10-4 on Tuesday, which ended up being a key factor in securing UCSB's first road win of the year. After dropping away contests at LBSU and CSUN earlier this year, UCSB outplayed both handily at the Thunderdome over the weekend, putting together a strong all-around performance against the 49ers on Friday night and then overwhelming the Matadors offensively (.301 hitting percentage, high for the week) in a Saturday sweep.

• Ruddins Named AVCA National Player of the Week, First Gaucho Since 2009
After pacing the UCSB offense in its 3-0 week, Ruddins was named the National Player of the Week by both the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) and Volleymob.com, becoming the first Gaucho since 2009 to earn national honors for a weekly performance. Ruddins had at least 20 kills in each match, including a personal season-high for a league match with 27 putdowns against LBSU, and she hit a more-than-solid .300 for the week. Not just an offensive dynamo, she also took care of her defensive responsibilities, notching 31 combined digs against UC Davis and Long Beach State for her sixth and seventh double-doubles of the year. Even her blocking played a key role in the Gauchos' strong week, as a pair of late blocks solo from Ruddins turned out to be the deciding factor in a tight first set against the 49ers. She is just the sixth Gaucho ever to be named National Player of the Week, joining an exclusive club of Gauchos including Rebecca Saraceno (2009), Kristin Nelson (2004), Roberta Gehlke (1999), Katie Crawford (1996, 1997), and Chrissy Boehle (1994).

• Omwanghe Earns Big West Frosh Honors
Ruddins wasn't the only Gaucho to earn honors for their strong performance last week, as middle blocker Nicole Omwanghe was named the Big West Freshman of the Week. The Claremont, Calif. native posted seven kills on .417 hitting against UC Davis while chipping in four blocks, had her best offensive performance of the week against LBSU on Friday, notching 11 kills on .450 hitting, then finished up with a seven-block performance against CSUN, helping that Gauchos to a 13-5 advantage over the Matadors in blocks. She is one of just two players league-wide to rank in the top-10 for both hitting (.288, eighth) and blocking (1.19, second) in Big West contests. 

• Ruddins Is Killing It
Ruddins' monster week against UCD, LBSU, and CSUN was just another feather in the cap of what has been an unbelievable sophomore season. The Laguna Niguel, Calif. native remains second in the country in offense at 5.62 kills per set, but she narrowed the gap to just 0.17 between her and national leader Pilar Victoria of Arkansas (5.79). Ruddins does have the national lead in swings per set at 14.46. Earlier this season, she set a UCSB rally scoring era record with 36 kills against No. 15 Florida State, narrowly missing out on the program's all-time mark (38) set by Roberta Gehlke in 1999. Those 36 kills are also the most by any NCAA player in a single match this season. She has been a Big West Player of the Week nominee six times over the last nine weeks and UCSB is hitting over 100 points higher with her in the lineup (.199) than without (.096).

• Petrachi Anchoring the Back Line
One of the most experienced players on the team, junior libero Emilia Petrachi has been a rock for UCSB in the back row. The Modena, Italy native is second in the league with a 4.84 digs per set average, up from her career average of 4.69. Earlier in league play, Petrachi had 28 digs in just three sets against Cal State Fullerton, which the highest of any Big West player in a three-set match this season, a personal career-high for a three-setter, and just two off her overall career high of 30 (Aug. 29, 2015 vs. Pepperdine), which took her four sets to amass.

• Seeing Triple
Winning three matches in one week is a challenge for any squad. Last week was UCSB's first time this season accomplishing that feat, and just the third time ever in the Lantagne Welch era (since 2013), with both other occurrences coming in 2016. 

• Lantagne Welch Earns Career Win Number 300
UCSB's 3-0 victory over UC Riverside on Sept. 22 gave head coach Nicole Lantagne Welch the 300th win of her esteemed career. In her 17th season overall as a head coach (12 years at Miami), she is the winningest active coach in the Big West (304 career wins). 

• Serve and Pass
After being racked by injuries early in the year, the Gauchos have steadily improved in all facets of their game, especially during Big West play. UCSB is the only Big West school that boasts a top-three rank in blocking, service aces, and digs in league play. UCSB's improved serving (the Gauchos have three players in the top-10 for service aces in league play, most of any school) and defensive play has helped limit opponents to a .194 hitting percentage, one of just four schools in the league holding the opposition to a sub-.200 clip.