FORT COLLINS, Colo. (Aug. 27, 2022)— The UC Santa Barbara women's volleyball team fell to 0-3 to start the 2021 season dropping a three-set match to North Carolina (1-1) and a four-set match to host Colorado State (2-1) in a Saturday doubleheader. It was a tough Northern Colorado/Colorado State Tournament for the Gauchos who saw a trio of teams that are regulars in the NCAA Tournament.
GAME ONE – UNC 3, UCSB 0
On the Stat Sheet
- Briana McKnight led the Gauchos with seven kills on a .300 hitting percentage to go with four digs.
- The Gauchos out-blocked the Tarheels six to the three
- Michelle Ohwobete led all players with eight digs and added four kills and an ace.
- Megan Shimoda dished out a team-high 20 assists and scooped up a pair of digs.
How it Happened
- The Gauchos fell to 0-2 and suffered their first sweep of the season falling in three sets 25-19, 25-19, 25-17 to North Carolina.
- The first set was a back-and-forth affair seeing nine ties and a pair of lead changes as the two teams traded sideouts until they found themselves knotted at 11-11. From there the Gauchos took control using a 3-0 lead to get the advantage, but UNC found its footing catching up at 18-18 and finishing the set on an 11-2 run to take the opening frame.
- UCSB found itself down early in the second set but used a 5-1 run capped off by an Ohwobete ace to tie things up at 14 apiece. Unfortunately, the Tarheels once again went on a late run utilizing its match-high .345 hitting percentage to close out the set on a 10-5 run. Four early service errors hurt the Gauchos in the tight race.
- The third and final set was all Tarheels as the Gauchos failed to hold the lead, despite tying it up on four occasions. UNC did a solid job of holding serve only allowing UCSB to convert on half of its 24 sideout attempts.
GAME TWO – CSU 3, UCSB 1
On the Stat Sheet
- Tasia Farmer had a great match sending down 12 kills on a .346 hitting percentage to go along with five blocks and three digs. She only committed one attack error through the first three sets but had a pair late in the fourth to end the match with a 12-3-26 line.
- UCSB saw its best team hitting percentage of the weekend recording a .291 clip and sent down 11 blocks to North Carolina's six. The Gauchos also saw their most aces of the weekend with seven giving them 17 on the weekend.
- Ohwobete and Tallulah Froley joined Farmer in double-digits with 10 kills apiece. Froley added four blocks and Ohwobete saw 11 digs to get her first double-double of the season. The junior outside hitter was also solid on serve reception going errorless on 28 attempts.
- McKnight was also dynamite on receptions converting 33 with no errors and added three kills and eight digs.
How it Happened
- UCSB showed a lot of fight in the final match of the weekend but in the end fell in four sets to the host Rams 25-18, 27-25, 18-25, 25-21.
- The opening was a closer affair than the score indicaits as it saw 12 ties and six lead changes with both teams hanging around in the early points. It wasn't until the two were tied at 13-13 that the host Rams found their first run of the contest going on an 8-1 streak that put them well ahead. They would swing their best clip of the night at .478 and converted on sideout attempts with a 72% success rate. Farmer got her swing going posting a 4-0-5 line for a .800 hitting percentage.
- The second frame had even more back-and-forth scoring seeing a match-high 18 ties and six lead changes. Neither team took more than a two point lead until the Gauchs found themselves down late at 19-15. From there, a pair of kills from Ohwobete and Farmer and back-to-back aces by McKnight put the Gauchos right back in the running with some help from a challenge won by Head Coach Nicole Lantagne Welch that squared it at 20-20. UCSB held two set points but late miscues granted Colorado State a 3-0 run and the extra points win at 27-25.
- The third set was all Gauchos as the visitors swung a potent .517 clip with and converted on 17 of its 19 sideout opportunities while holding the Rams to a .235 hitting percentage. UCSB led by as many as seven on multiple occasions and took over earl in the set with a barrage of different runs. After committing seven service errors in the first two frames, the Gauchos only suffered one in their third-set victory.
- Both teams struggled on the offensive end in the fourth and final set but the Gauchos made up for it on the defensive end sending down a match-high seven blocks. Farmer and Nia Correal were the main culprits with three apiece. After trailing early, UCSB refused to quit storming back to make it a one-point match at 20-19 but a pair of attacking errors and a setting miscue cost the team late as Colorado State closed it out with a 5-2 run.
The Gauchos now return home to California and will look to another tough tournament down in Malibu next week, the Pepperdine Asics Classic. UCSB will face the host Waves (2-1), who received votes in the preseason AVCA poll, Friday night. Then it's a Saturday doubleheader with No. 16 Baylor (2-1) and San Diego State (2-1).