Pacific Women's Volleyball: Volleyball Falls At Home To UC Santa Barbara
Taking on the conference's top team, the Pacific women's volleyball team could not close out UC Santa Barbara (UCSB) at home as they fell 3-0 on Friday, October 15. The Tigers fell to 10-8 overall and 3-4 in the Big West while the Gauchos improved to 11-8 on the year and 5-1 in the conference. The loss was the third straight for the Tigers, matching their season high.
Game scores for the match were: 29-27, 25-22, 26-24.
Despite leading late in games one and three against the Gauchos, Pacific could not close out the Big West's number one team as they fell in three games to drop under .500 in conference action.
In the opening game of the night, Pacific built a size able lead late in the game as the Tigers held a six point advantage at 19-13. Senior Svenja Engelhardt (Sinsheim, Germany) put the team on her shoulders early in the game as she posted four kills and no errors on eight attacks to get the ball rolling. Additionally, Engelhardt was all over the court defensively as the senior posted six digs and a career-best three solo blocks in the opening game. However the Gauchos threw together a 7-1 run after a UCSB timeout to make a contest out of game one before stealing the opening frame 29-27 in extra points. Despite giving up their early lead the Tigers were in possession of three-game points, but could not put the Gauchos away.
Licking their wounds from game one, the Tigers held tough against the Gauchos throughout the first half of game two, even leading midway through the frame at 15-13 before suffering a similar fate to game one. Tied at 19-19, the Tigers slipped behind UCSB for good behind a 4-0 run sparked by an array of kills and off the serve of Kara Sherrard. Despite the loss in game two, Engelhardt again proved to be Pacific's most dominant player as she put down seven kills while picking up six more digs. However, Engelhardt was mirrored on the other side of the net by Charlene DeHoog who tallied seven kills in 21 swings with out an attacking error. Through two games, DeHoog had 13 kills on 36 attacks without a single mistake.
In what became the deciding game of the night, the Tigers turned game three into a near mirror image of game one as jumped out to a 19-14 lead behind a balanced attack. The Tigers would hold on to their four point advantage for the next few points, but again could not close out the Gauchos late as UCSB used a 4-1 run and held off two game points to capture the game and the match from the Tigers.
Overall, Engelhardt efforts were not enough for the Tigers on Saturday night despite posting her second consecutive double-double. For the match the senior tallied match-highs in kills (19) and digs (16) while hitting .395 and tallying four blocks. Sophomore Hannah Clancy (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) tallied her team-high eighth double-double in the match with 39 assists and 12 digs while junior Rebekah Torres (Wahiawa, Hawaii) added 12 digs as well.
The Gauchos were led by DeHoog's 18 kills as she hit .327 on 49 attacks with just two errors. Kara Sherrard posted a double-double in the win with 13 kills and 12 digs. UCSB outhit Pacific .292-to-.233 for the match.
The match was the first time head coach Greg Gibbons faced his former team after spending the last four season's as the Gauchos' associate head coach.
Pacific will look to rebound on Saturday, October 16 when the Mustangs of Cal Poly come to town. The match is scheduled for 7:00 pm at the Alex G. Spanos Center. The Mustangs are coming off of a 3-1 win at UC Davis on Friday night.