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Sports: A Noozhawk Partnership with Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table, The Lab, and American Riviera Bank
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College Volleyball

Chloe Allen Provides Spark in UCSB Loss to Hawai’i

UC Santa Barbara was unable to overcome Hawai'i's fiery offense and dropped a three-set decision in the Big West women's volleyball season opener at the Thunderdome on Friday night.

"I think it comes down to we could have done more on our side, and that's what we talked about in the locker room," UCSB coach Nicole Lantagne Welch said. "We served really well tonight, we got them out of their system, but we didn't take advantage of that. We didn't take hold of opportunities and we didn't play clean defense."

The Gauchos (9-5, 0-1) were without their top attacker Lindsey Ruddins, and in her stead Chanel Hoffman paced the team with 10 kills. Freshman Chloe Allen of San Marcos High had some nice stretches in the second and third sets, as she finished with five kills and tied Santa Barbara High alum Lexi Rottman with a team-high two aces. Rowan Ennis matched her fellow freshman's five kills, while also adding a pair of block assists.

Defensively, Phoebe Grunt led UCSB with three block assists, while Sydney Bast scooped up 10 digs after making her first appearance as a libero this season in the third game.

With the Rainbow Wahine finishing with a .382 hitting percentage, the Gauchos put up their best hitting figures in the third set which featured six tied scores and four lead changes.

With Bast stabilizing the defense, the Gauchos kept pace with Hawai'i. The Gauchos strung together a pair of 3-0 runs to tie or take a one-point lead.

One of those runs was dominated by Allen who threw down a kill and dealt consecutive aces to knot the score at 10-10.

"I thought Chloe was great off the bench," Welch said. "She followed the game plan and went after it, which led to some success which was good to see."

From there, the Gauchos would gain one more lead at 12-11 following a block from Grunt and Hoffman. But after a service error returned the ball back to Hawai'i's service line, the Rainbow Wahine got a spark on offense and went on a 4-1 run.

UCSB was able to cut the deficit back to one at 18-17 following an Ennis kill, but Hawai'i was able to stay ahead and clinch the match in the third set 25-19.

"You just have to find kills in more places," Welch said. "We had spurts, but we needed more from other people. You're not going to replace Ruddins with one player; you're going to have to do that by committee. And we needed more help from all areas from the floor to help with that."

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