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Tuesday, December 11 , 2018, 10:01 pm | Fair 53º

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

UCSB Loses 25-23 Battle in 5th Set Against Denver

UC Santa Barbara found itself on the wrong side of a furious finish Friday evening at the Denver Classic, falling to the host Pioneers 22-25, 25-19, 21-25, 25-11, 23-25.

Despite outscoring Denver by 11 points for the night, the Gauchos (2-2) dropped the decisive fifth game following 17 ties and six lead changes. The Pioneers (3-1) claimed the final three points of the match for their 10th-straight home victory dating back to 2017.

Redshirt junior outside hitter Lindsey Ruddins had her most efficient offensive outing so far this season, hitting at a .300 clip and .386 kill percentage on the way to a match-high 27 kills. It was the second time in three outings that she reached 27 kills, once again falling just one shy of cracking the program's single-match top-10. She also added 12 digs and four blocks for her third double-double.

Setter Olivia Lovenberg set a career-high with 55 assists, one short of the current Big West season-high. The freshman played a part in 17 of UCSB's final 23 points, registering 14 assists, two kills and a solo block in the fifth set alone. She also earned her third double-double with 10 digs and three blocks and was a perfect 3-for-3 on attacks.

Defensively, senior libero Emilia Petrachi finished with 20 digs, marking her second 20-dig outing of the year, while junior middle blocker Rowan Ennis had a match-high five blocks. Ennis was one of three Gauchos to reach 10 kills, going for 11 on an efficient .476 hitting percentage.

Junior Charlie Robinson joined Ennis in the double-digit kill department, tallying a personal-best 14 kills on a .423 clip. Five of her kills came in the fourth set, when she led UCSB to a commanding 25-11 win. The Gauchos enjoyed perhaps their best game yet this year, breaking a 4-4 tie and embarking on a 13-1 run that was book-ended by a pair of Ruddins kills.

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