The UCSB women’s volleyball team was back in action this evening in their final road trip of the season as they took on the Aggies of UC Davis. The last time these two teams faced, the Gauchos were the ones to come out with a three-set win in The Thunderdome.
However, Thursday’s match did not come as easily for UCSB as this match took five sets to decide. Despite their efforts, the Gauchos were not able to come out with a win, losing 3-2 to UC Davis with scores of 28-26, 25-22, 40-38, 25-22 and 15-9.
HOW IT HAPPENED
At the start of the match, the Gauchos came out a little slow. The Aggies took advantage, going up by five points at multiple points in this set. This didn’t stop UC Santa Barbara from fighting. The Gauchos came back to tie the set with the first set going into extra points. Despite their best efforts, the Gauchos dropped the first set 28-26 to the Aggies.
From there, UCSB came out with a new fire. The Gauchos were swinging from the start of the second set, keeping control despite the efforts from UC Davis. With the help of the team’s .432 hitting percentage, the Gauchos were able to take the second set 25-22.
Once these two teams came back on the court, the Aggies were ready to battle. Instead of one team having control, both teams battled throughout most of this set, tying with one another 22 times. This resulted in one of the longest sets in UCSB history as these two teams went into extra points and then some. Although the Aggies ended up taking the third set, it didn’t end until the score hit 40-38.
With UC Davis up and the match on the line, the Gauchos kicked it into gear. This didn’t come without a fight from each side. Briana McKnight went on a service run in the beginning of this set to take an early lead. UCSB was able to build on this success, putting themselves in a spot to take this fourth set 25-22.
Heading into the fifth and final set, it was the Aggies who came out with the momentum. UC Davis came out with a four-point run in this abbreviated set, giving them an advantage over the Gauchos. UCSB could not get their offense in rhythm, preventing them from scoring at key moments. The Aggies took advantage of this as they closed out the set and won with the biggest margin of victory with a score of 15-9 to take the set 3-2 over the Gauchos.
LOOKING AT THE NUMBERS
– Michelle Ohwobete led the team in two different statistical categories. Her 21 kills along with 18 digs was good enough to add another double-double to her resume. She also added on four blocks to contribute with a total of 23.5 points.
– Two other Gauchos ended the game with double-doubles, and they were Mehana Ma’a and Briana McKnight. Running a 6-2, Ma’a still managed to rack up 38 assists on the evening while securing 16 digs. McKnight, on the other hand, contributed 10 kills while adding on 14 digs. She also led the team in aces with two.
– Tallulah Froley and Tasia Farmer also had double-digit kills. The two opposites had 17 and 10 kills, respectively, to help their team from the right side of the court. Froley also added two blocks to the stat sheet.
– Deni Wilson and Macall Peed continue to be forces on defense for UCSB. In the front row, Wilson led the team in blocks with five while Peed orchestrated the defense from the back row with 14 digs.
The Gauchos will play their final road game of the season as they travel to Riverside to take on the Roadrunners of UC Riverside. First serve is scheduled for 7 p.m. tonight, with a live stream available through ESPN+.
Kristen Keller is the associate athletic director for communications and digital strategy at UCSB.