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Volleyball: UCSB Spooks UC Davis in Halloween Sweep

The Gauchos improve to 6-4 in Big West action.

Senior outside hitter Lauren McLaughlin recorded 13 kills and hit .462 to lead the UCSB volleyball team to a 25-20, 25-15, 25-11 sweep over UC Davis in Big West Conference action at the Pavilion on Friday night.

The Gauchos improve to 10-11 for the year and 6-4 in Big West play. The Aggies slip to 10-13 overall and 2-8 in conference.

Gaucho sophomore Charlene DeHoog had 11 kills with .300 hitting in support of McLaughlin, while sophomore middle blocker Kasey Kipp had eight kills on 13 attempts with just one error for a .538 clip.

Libero Leigh Stephenson led all players with a season-high 24 digs. Sophomore setter Dana Vargas dished out 32 assists and had 14 digs in the win.

Sophomore Kayla Varney had seven kills with 18 digs, an ace and two block assists to lead UC Davis.

UC Davis established a 10-6 lead behind the serving of Varney, who served up an ace during that run. However, five Aggie hitting errors and a block and kill by DeHoog put UCSB back on top by a 14-12 margin. UC Davis fought back to within a single point on three occasions, including Julie King’s slide that put the tally at 21-20. But UCSB finished with four straight points, with Kipp knocking down a pair of kills in the final flourish.

The Gaucho offense had 13 kills against just one error in the second set, including perfect 4-for-4 hitting from McLaughlin. After a 5-4 start, her offense supported the tough serving of Vargas to eight straight points, crafting a 13-4 lead for UCSB. Right-side hitter Melanie Adams posted a pair of kills to help UC Davis close the gap to seven, but the Gauchos again finished strong. Kipp and DeHoog each had two kills in the final four points to put the match score at 2-0.

UCSB broke the third set with a 13-1 run, taking a close 9-8 edge to a dominating 22-9 advantage. The Aggie offense struggled during that run, managing as many overpasses (eight) as attacking attempts in that run. McLaughlin had seven of her kills in that run, including three straight behind the serving of junior Lindsay Fletcher.

The Gauchos hit .290 for the match, compared with the .031 of the Aggies. UC Davis’ hitting fell into the red during the third set, committing nine errors against five kills for a minus-.093 average.

The Gauchos continue action in northern California on Saturday when they head to Pacific for a 7 p.m. match-up with the Tigers.

Lisa Skvarla is UCSB‘s assistant media relations director.

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