The UCSB women’s volleyball team (2-5) picked up a four-set win (25-23, 25-23, 16-25, 25-21) on the road Friday night playing spoiler in New Mexico State’s (5-2) home opener.
The Gauchos’ Michelle Ohwobete picked up her third double-double of the season with 12 kills and 10 digs to go along with a match-high three aces. She was also perfect on passing, converting all 20 serve receptions sent her way.
Tallulah Froley sent down double-digit kills for the second straight match with 12 on a .258 hitting percentage.
Mehana Ma’a led the setting efforts with 21 assists and added five digs.
Niableu Correal had four total blocks on the night including one solo.
The first set saw the Gauchos jump out to a quick lead that stretched as far as eight points at 13-5, but the host Aggies grinded all the way back to ice things at 18 apiece. From there the two teams traded punches until New Mexico State held a 23-22 lead.
With their back against the wall, the Gauchos ripped a 3-0 run to close the set, punctuated by a kill from freshman Sophie Reavis with Macall Peed assisting on the play. Ohwobete and Tasia Farmer each had four kills in the set.
The second set was a back-and-forth affair that saw 10 ties and three lead changes, but UCSB managed to outhit New Mexico State .267 to .156 and convert on 73% of its sideout opportunities.
Neither team led by more than three and once again met in a tie late in the set at 19-19.
Ohwobete followed a clutch kill immediately with a timely ace to make it 23-20, and an ace by Farmer all but sealed the set for the Gauchos who took a 2-0 lead.
The third set was all Aggies as the Gauchos never led, and the home team swung the momentum in its favor with a nine-point win at 25-16.
The momentum carried into the fourth and final set as New Mexico State looked to be on the brink of pushing it to a tiebreaker in a frame that saw six ties and three lead changes.
The Gauchos led early but toward the end found themselves down 20-16 before hopping on an unreal 9-1 run to close the match.
The Aggies called a time out after their lead was cut to 21-20. And out of the huddle came Froley, who notched four kills in five plays to end the match.
Daniel Moebus-Bowles writes about sports for UCSB.