Gauchos Close Out Non-Conference Slate at Roadrunner Classic

Photo by Jeilo Gauna
Photo by Jeilo Gauna

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• The Schedule
Thursday, September 13, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. PDT
UC Santa Barbara at CSU Bakersfield
at Icardo Center in Bakersfield, Calif. 
All-time record vs. Roadrunners: 1-0
Record in Lantagne Welch era: 1-0
Streak vs. CSUB: Won 1
Last meeting: W, 3-0 (9/2/16 @ UCSB)
ESPN3 | Live Stats
Friday, September 14, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. PDT
UC Santa Barbara vs. Montana
at Icardo Center in Bakersfield, Calif.
All-time record vs. Grizzlies: 1-0
Record in Lantagne Welch era: 0-0
Streak vs. UM: Won 1
Last meeting: W, 3-0 (10/19/84)
Thursday, September 13, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. PDT
UC Santa Barbara vs. South Dakota
at Icardo Center in Bakersfield, Calif. 
All-time record vs. Coyotes: 0-0
• Thunderous Start at the Dome
UC Santa Barbara (6-3) went a perfect 3-0 while hosting the Thunderdome Classic, being crowned tournament champs for the second time in three weeks. The Gauchos began the weekend with an impressive 3-1 win over Texas Tech in which Lindsey Ruddins went off for a season-high 33 kills (8.5 K/S). UCSB added two more 3-1 wins on Saturday over Sacred Heart and Seton Hall. Ruddins went on to be named Tournament MVP after averaging 7.08 kills per set on a .393 hitting percentage. Outside hitter Torre Glasker (3.17 K/S) and middle blocker Charlie Robinson (0.92 B/S) also earned All-Tournament Team honors.
• Four-for-Four
The Gauchos carry a season-best four-match winning streak into their final non-conference tournament before opening Big West play at home against UC Irvine on Tuesday, Sept. 18. UCSB has won each of its last four matches in four sets. This marks the team's first four-match win streak since 2016, when it won five straight on two different occasions.
• Roadrunner Classic Preview
Cal State Bakersfield (3-6) will look to end the Gauchos' hot streak when the two teams face on Thursday, Sept. 13 at 6:00 p.m. PT. UCSB is 1-1 against tournament hosts so far this season and 1-0 against the Roadrunners all-time. The Gauchos last defeated them 3-0 a little over two years ago in a match that saw Ruddins hit at a career-best .481 clip for a match-high 14 kills. Santa Barbara will then close out its non-conference slate on Friday, when it takes on Montana (2-7) at 10:00 a.m. PT and South Dakota (6-3) at 5:00 p.m. PT.
• Digs For Days
With 46 digs (3.83 D/S) this past weekend, senior libero Emilia Petrachi increased her total to 1,593 for her career. That moved her past Kristie Ryan (1,580 digs, 1989-92) for No. 5 all-time in the UCSB record book. Although Petrachi's 15-match run of 10 or more digs came to an end in the win over Seton Hall, she still ranks second in the conference in digs with 171 (4.62 D/S). On Sept. 3, she was named the Big West Defensive Player of the Week for the sixth time in her career, just one shy of the conference record.
• Back At It Again
Ridiculous numbers this past weekend catapulted redshirt junior outside hitter Lindsey Ruddins into familiar territory, as she moved into third in the nation in kills per set (5.56). Following her 33-kill outburst (.357) to lead UCSB over a tough Texas Tech side, Ruddins would hit over .400 in consecutive matches for the first time in her career. With 26 kills against both Sacred Heart (.423) and Seton Hall (.412), she has registered 26 kills in five matches already this year, something she did just nine times prior to 2018. Her league-high 205 kills have UCSB sitting atop the conference with 522 as a team.
• Fantastic Freshman
Few would expect any freshman to produce at the level setter Olivia Lovenberg has through her first nine career matches, but the numbers speak for themselves. The former Canyon Crest Academy star leads the conference in total assists (427) and assists per set (11.54 A/S), the latter also placing her at 16th in the nation. This past weekend, she set a career-best with 60 digs in the win over Texas Tech for her fourth 50-assist outing this year. Lovenberg was named the Big West Freshman of the Week for two straight weeks to open the season and has not dropped below 40 helpers since the Gauchos' season-opener against Cincinnati.
• Efficiency Is The Key
The Gauchos hit at an outstanding .326 clip during the Thunderdome Classic, moving them from fifth to second in the Big West at .260 for the year behind only No. 14 Cal Poly (.265). That jump is no fluke, as four Gauchos make up the conference's top-12 in hitting percentage. They are: Charlie Robinson (.340, 2nd), Nicole Omwanghe (.333, 4th), Rowan Ennis (.328, 7th) and Lindsey Ruddins (.289, 12th). Ruddins' career-high .289 hitting percentage ranks third among Big West outside hitters.
• Stat-Sheet Stuffer
Torre Glasker has been lauded for making a positive impact on the team – both in practice and off the court – since transferring from Utah in the offseason. The junior outside hitter has been able to demonstrate her effectiveness in the form of box score stat-stuffing thus far, tying Ruddins for the team-lead in service aces (0.35 SA/S) and double-doubles (6). She was named to the Thunderdome Classic All-Tournament Team after averaging 3.17 kills (.289), 2.67 digs and 0.67 blocks per set. She currently ranks 11th in the conference in dig average (3.22 D/S). Glasker had a career-high 20 digs against McNeese State on Sept. 1, making her just one of three Gauchos to reach the 20-dig mark since 2015.
• Cardiac 'Chos
UCSB went to five sets in three of its first six matches season, already equaling its total from last year. Santa Barbara is 1-2 in five-set matches in 2018 and 10-17 all-time under head coach Nicole Lantagne Welch. When the Gauchos faced Denver back on Aug. 31, the Pioneers pulled out one of the longest fifth sets in Gaucho history, 25-23, following a furious finish that included 17 ties and six lead changes. Prior to that, a fifth set had been won with more than 15 points only three times during the Lantagne Welch era, each time ending 16-14.
• We Want More of Set 4
The Gauchos have played in 37 sets this year, going 22-15 overall. They have been at their best in the fourth set of matches, boasting a perfect 7-0 mark.
• Brooms Out!
Following the Denver Classic, UCSB's trio of Lindsey Ruddins (Offensive PoW), Emilia Petrachi (Defensive PoW) and Olivia Lovenberg (Freshman of the Week) claimed all three of the Big West weekly awards. It marked the second straight September that the Gauchos garnered a conference award sweep, with Ruddins, Petrachi and Nicole Omwanghe accomplishing the feat back on Sept. 25, 2017. UCSB won four of the first six PoW awards this season.
• Road Awakening
UCSB's win at Miami on Aug. 25 was the Gauchos' first win in a true road season-opener since Aug. 25, 2012, when they defeated LMU 3-0 at the Loyola Marymount Tournament.
• Gauchos Win Miami Invitational
UC Santa Barbara's year opened with a bang. Led by Miami Invitational MVP Lindsey Ruddins, the Gauchos finished with a 2-1 record on the way to being crowned tournament champs. Following a tightly-contested 3-2 defeat to Cincinnati in its season-opener, UCSB answered back with a 3-2 win over Miami and a 3-0 sweep of Saint Louis. Ruddins (4.62 K/S), Emilia Petrachi (4.23 D/S) and Rowan Ennis (2.15 K/S) were all named to the All-Tournament Team.
• Preseason Poll
The Gauchos were predicted to finish fifth in this year's Big West Preseason Coaches Poll, the same spot they finished in at the end of the 2017 conference season.
• Lantagne Welch Earns Career Win Number 300
UCSB's 3-0 victory over UC Riverside on Sept. 22, 2017 gave head coach Nicole Lantagne Welch the 300th win of her esteemed career. She began her 18th season overall as a head coach (12 years at Miami) this year as the winningest active coach in the Big West (306 career wins).