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College Volleyball

No. 24 Cal Poly Wears Down UCSB Volleyball

Despite a nice start to the match on Saturday, the UC Santa Barbara women's volleyball team suffered its fourth straight loss, falling against No. 24 Cal Poly  in four sets,  26-28, 25-15, 25-16, 25-15.

"I thought we had a good effort and we just have to improve," coach Nicole Lantagne Welch said. "We have had a lot of adversity this season but we have to take the hand we are dealt, focus on improving. We are putting the effort in and now we just want to execute."

Redshirt sophomore outside hitter Lindsey Ruddins was once again the star for the Gauchos (3-15, 2-4 Big West), narrowly missing her sixth double-double of the season, finishing with 21 kills and 8 digs.

Ruddins registered a third of her team-high 21 kills in the first set, which saw Santa Barbara battle back from an early 6-1 deficit to eventually tie the game at 14-14.

With the score tied at 22-22, the two teams kept trading points until Ruddins hit a hard spike between three Cal Poly defenders, giving the home team a 27-26 lead. The Gauchos then sealed the first set victory with a block.

The second set began with more of the same as the two teams kept battling with Santa Barbara taking the early 7-5 lead thanks in large part to Ruddins three service aces in the set.

From that point on Cal Poly (17-2, 7-0 Big West) took complete control scoring 13 unanswered points in the second to take a commanding 18-7 lead.

The third set saw Cal Poly go on a 13-5 run to take a favorable 16-8 lead giving them the edge it needed to finish the set with ease.

With the score 15-12 in its favor, Cal Poly finished the fourth set with a 10-3 run to finish the match.

"We were hot and cold throughout the match," Welch said. "We had some really great moments, especially in that first set, but we deteriorated from there offensively and that's where we need to get better.

"We passed well enough to win this match, we served aggressively, and our blocks started out strong. We just need all these things to come together for a whole game," Welch said.

The Gauchos will look to regroup and win their first match in five games taking on UC Davis at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, October 17.

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