Pixel Tracker

Friday, December 14 , 2018, 5:10 pm | Partly Cloudy 59º

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

UCSB Pulls Out a Gritty Triumph Against Cal State Northridge

Lindsey Ruddins of UCSB hits high for the Cal State Northridge block during the Gauchos’ three-set sweep at the Thunderdome. Click to view larger
Lindsey Ruddins of UCSB hits high for the Cal State Northridge block during the Gauchos’ three-set sweep at the Thunderdome. (JC Corliss / Noozhawk photo)

The UC Santa Barbara women's volleyball team capped off a 3-0 week on Saturday night with a straight-sets victory over CSUN at the Thunderdome. Set scores were 25-17, 25-23, 25-19. 

The Gauchos – who improved to 6-15, 5-4 – had their work cut out for them, trailing in each set, including sizable deficits in the first two. Each time, the Gauchos battled back and pulled it out using last minute runs, avenging a Sept. 29 loss at the Matadome. CSUN dropped to 10-11, 4-5. 

"It being our third match of the week, we started off a little slow," said UCSB head coach Nicole Lantagne Welch. "But I loved the way we fought back. We consistently battled, and it ended up being a gritty win. We came through with our serving which allowed our blocking and defense to really shine through."

Sophomore outside hitter Lindsey Ruddins paced the Gauchos' offense with 20 kills. Junior setter Annie Hasselmann had a standout performance of her own, dishing out 28 assists, recording three kills on just four swings, and most importantly co-leading the team with seven blocks, including three solo efforts. She and freshman middle blocker Nicole Omwanghe, who had seven blocks herself, led a Gaucho blocking corps that outproduced CSUN 13-5 at the net.  

Hasselmann did an excellent job spreading the ball around in the first set, with four separate Gaucho hitters notching multiple kills while the team hit a solid .364 for the set. Even more important, Hasselmann took over from the service line at the end of the stanza, leading the Gauchos on a 7-0 run to close out the set. She notched a pair of aces during that run and forced the Matadors into another two attack errors.

The Gauchos saved some late-game magic for the second as well, nullifying a slow start and an eventual 20-15 deficit by storming back with a 10-3 run to close out the set and take a commanding 2-0 lead. Ruddins was a huge difference-maker in the frame, recording 10 kills on just 15 swings. Both she and Omwanghe had a pair of blocks as UCSB racked up four as a team for the set, which forced CSUN into a .000 hitting percentage after hitting north of .600 in the first half of the set.

Trailing by five late, it was junior setter Lexi Rottman who started the road back, serving UCSB to three straight points and reducing the deficit to 18-20. Ruddins kept up the momentum with strong serving of her own, ripping a number of hard serves just over the tape which eventually led to the Gauchos tying it at 22-22 when one of Ruddins' jump serves led to an iffy pass that led to a hitting error by CSUN's Aeryn Owens.

The Gauchos would take their first lead on the next point off another CSUN attacking error. Moments later, UCSB would capitalize on its first set point as Charlie Robinson and Hasselmann teamed up to block a Matador swing on the left side. 

Rottman's serving played a key factor early on in the third as well, as she peppered CSUN with hard-to-handle serves that led to three aces and a pair of Gaucho blocks as part of an 8-0 run that turned a 6-2 deficit into a 10-6 lead. Though the Matadors would punch back to make it close during the middle stages, UCSB once again caught fire late to create separation, putting together a 7-1 run off an 18-18 tie to claim the third with relative ease. Hasselmann ended the contest by winning a joust at the net on match point, the Gauchos' sixth block of the set. 

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >