One match after setting a career-high in hitting percentage, UC Santa Barbara senior Lindsey Ruddins continued her exceptional efficiency to lead the Gauchos to a 3-0 (25-22, 25-18, 25-21) sweep at UC Riverside on Saturday night.
Ruddins recorded 20 kills with just two errors in 35 attempts for a .514 hitting percentage, the third time she has hit above .500 in her career, and second time in as many matches. As a team, UCSB outhit the Highlanders .232 to .175 and won the battle in digs (44-36), blocks (12-7) and aces (4-3).
Santa Barbara (18-2, 8-1 Big West) picked up its 18th win of the season, tying its most since the 2013 season when the Gauchos finished 18-11 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament in head coach Nicole Lantagne Welch’s first year at the helm.
The win also clinched the season series for UCSB, who already swept UCR in an earlier meeting this season at the Thunderdome. And with a Cal Poly win over UC Davis on Saturday, the Gauchos kept pace with the Mustangs for first place in the Big West.
Freshman phenom Tallulah Froley was second on the team with nine kills, five of which came in the final third set. Zoe Fleck notched double figures with 11 digs while Torre Glasker was close behind with nine. Olivia Lovenberg and Romoni Vivao dished out 19 and 14 assists, respectively, and Rowan Ennis tallied four blocks.
UCSB returns home this Tuesday, Oct. 29 to take on Long Beach State at 7:00 p.m. in the Thunderdome.