Up 2-1, the UCSB women’s volleyball team looked like it was well on its way to upsetting No. 21 Hawai’i in the two Big West foes second meeting.
After dropping the first set, Santa Barbara was dominant in sets two and three, both at the net and in its passing.
The Gauchos held a 17-16 lead in the fourth but then, the Rainbow Wahine woke up. Hawai’i rallied nine of the final ten points to take that set and outlasted the visiting UCSB team to win the match in five sets by set scores of 25-19, 22-25, 21-25, 25-18, 17-15.
With the loss, UCSB (19-3, 9-2) falls to second place in the Big West and its matchup against Cal Poly next Saturday becomes more important.
Cal Poly is currently 9-1 while Hawai’i, with the win, moves to 9-2 in conference play. The Mustangs take on the Rainbow Wahine at 5 p.m. on Sunday.
UCSB currently owns a tiebreak over Cal Poly after winning the first matchup, but Hawai’i officially owns the tiebreak over Santa Barbara.
Senior outside hitter Lindsey Ruddins carried the Gauchos on Friday tallying a season-high 27 kills, including 13 in the second set alone.