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Volleyball: UCSB Ends Season on Victorious Note

Gauchos put away UC Riverside, 3-1, and snap a five-match losing streak.

Outside hitter Lauren McLaughlin finished her career on a high note, recording a match-high 21 kills to lead UCSB to a 3-1 (16-25, 25-12, 25-23, 25-23) victory over Big West Conference opponent UC Riverside on senior night Saturday at the Thunderdome. The Gauchos snapped a five-match losing streak with the win.

UCSB finished the regular season with an 11-16 record overall, 7-9 in the Big West. UC Riverside fell to 8-23 overall and 3-13 in the Big West.

McLaughlin hit .353 across the four sets (3e, 51att) and also posted a team-high 14 digs for her 11th double-double of the season. She was supported by eight kills from Nikki Doyle and seven from Lily Lopez, both freshmen. Doyle, from Pioneer Valley High, also posted four service aces.

Leigh Stephenson, a senior from Nipomo High, and Dana Vargas contributed 12 digs apiece. Vargas led all players with 42 assists and also tallied four kills on six attempts (.667). Lindsay Fletcher tallied three kills and a .500 hitting percentage.

Riverside was led by Kelly Fink’s 19 kills with a .169 hitting percentage (9e, 59att) and Dominique Cowling’s 15 kills with a .231 hitting percentage (6e, 39att). Cowling also had a match-high 17 digs.

Click here for the official box score.

With the win, the Gauchos extended their winning streak to 22-0 in the all-time series against the Highlanders.

It was the final appearance in the Thunderdome for seniors Fletcher, McLaughlin and Stephenson.

Scott Flanders is UCSB’s associate communications director.

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