UCSB Women’s Volleyball was back on the road for its second tournament of the year as they headed south down Rt. 101 to the home of the Pepperdine University Waves, who received votes in the most recent AVCA Division I Coaches Poll. After four sets of play, the Gauchos weren’t able to pull out the win, losing 3-1 against the Waves (25-19, 25-21, 25-21, 25-20).
The Gauchos were on fire from the start. They took an early lead over a tough Pepperdine team, at one point sitting at a score of 11-8. However, the Waves turned up the heat, going on a five-point run. From there, UC Santa Barbara wasn’t able to close the gap between them and the Waves, dropping the first set 25-18.
The second set was an even better battle to watch. Throughout a good portion of this set, the Gauchos were right on the heels of the Waves. UCSB continued with its push late in the set, but Pepperdine shook off the pressure, taking the second set 25-21 from UCSB.
Once the third set began, both teams were vying for the lead. The Gauchos and the Waves exchanged the lead multiple times, with neither team able to pull too far ahead of the other until late in the set. UC Santa Barbara went on a run of its own to grow the lead to five, giving them a cushion to finish out the third set with a 25-21 win against the Waves, staying alive for another set in Malibu.
In the fourth set, the Gauchos came out hot and ready to play. UC Santa Barbara started off with a five-point lead over Pepperdine, but that was short lived. The Waves came crashing in, closing the lead and running away with the match. Despite the fight from the Gauchos, it wasn’t enough to steal this set, losing the fourth and final set 25-20.
LOOKING AT THE NUMBERS
– Michelle Ohwobete continues to have a great start to the season as she tallied a double-double against the Waves. She finished the night with 15 kills along with 12 digs while adding on three blocks.
– Deni Wilson was just shy of getting her own double-double. She ended the match with 10 kills while contributing eight total blocks, seven of which were assisted. Wilson was also the most efficient hitter for the Gauchos, hitting .286 (10 kills, 4 errors, 21 attempts) on the evening.
– In the back row, Macall Peed was all over the floor. She ended the game with a team-high 22 digs.
– Both Mehana Ma’a and Megan Shimoda worked together as the team ran a 6-2 in this match. Ma’a recorded 22 assists while Shimoda put up 15.
The Gauchos will be back in action for the second day of the Pepperdine Asics Classic. At 10 a.m., UC Santa Barbara will face off against No. 9 Baylor University with another game against San Diego State at 7 p.m. Both games will be streamed on YouTube and live stats will also be available.
Kristen Keller writes about sports for UCSB.