BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - With conference play right around the corner, the UC Santa Barbara women's volleyball was able to earn two easy victories to help build some confidence. The Gauchos earned a pair of 3-0 wins defeating the University of Montana and the University of South Dakota in its final matches of the Bakersfield Tournament.
With the win, UCSB (8-4 overall) has now earned victories in six of its last seven matches after beginning the year 2-3. It also rebounded nicely from a 3-0 loss last night to Cal State Bakersfield, the hosts of this tournament.
As per usual star, junior outside hitter Lindsey Ruddins led the Gauchos in kills in both wins while earning a total 19 digs on the night. Freshman setter Olivia Lovenberg also had a successful night earning more than 30 assists in both games. Ruddins and senior defensive specialist Lexi Rottman were both named to the All-Tournament Team.
UCSB vs. University of Montana
To begin the day, Santa Barbara had a tough match. Despite having just two wins on the season, Montana gave UCSB everything it could handle especially in the first two sets of the match. The Gauchos jumped out to an early 13-8 lead, but the Grizzlies came back to cut it to two down 16-18.
Up 23-19 in the first set, Montana would score four of the next five points to come within one point. Luckily, sophomore middle blocker Rowan Ennis got the final kill to help UCSB take the first set by a final of 25-23. The second set would be more of the same, but UCSB won 25-21. By the third set, Santa Barbara completely showed its dominance winning the final set 25-11.
Ruddins led the team in kills with 17 but after that, it was much more of an even distribution of the scoring with no other player tallying more than 10 kills. Senior setter had an impressive, season-high seven service aces on the day. Lovenberg had 31 assists on the day making yet another match the freshman has over 30 assists in one day.
Defensively, UCSB held Montana to just a .161 kill percentage while earning a .271 on the offensive side of things themselves.
UCSB vs. University of South Dakota
While Santa Barbara had a strong bout against Montana, it was able to settle things much quicker against South Dakota with set scores of 25-16, 25-20, and 25-17. Ruddins led the contest with 22 kills on the day with a very impressive .488 shooting percentage, her best mark of the season.
Tied at five in the first set, UCSB would go on to take 10 of the next 13 points to hold a 15-8 lead and from there the team never looked back. Things were a bit more difficult in the second frame as Santa Barbara was down 16-18 but would take nine of the final 12 points to earn the win and hold a 2-0 advantage.
In each set, the Gauchos were able to tally a kill percentage above .300 earning a .324 percentage for the entire match, its second-highest mark of the season. In contrast, UCSB held South Dakota to just a .170 mark on the evening.
Three players, Ruddins, Lovenberg, and senior Emilia Petrachi each double-digit digs on the day with the team having 48 total in this match.