UC Santa Barbara senior Lindsey Ruddins had the most efficient night of her decorated Gaucho career, recording 18 kills on a career-high .548 hitting percentage (18-1-31) to lead the UCSB women’s volleyball team to a 3-0 (25-18, 25-23, 26-24) sweep over UC Davis on Thursday night.

Ruddins, who made a triumphant return after missing last week’s match against Cal Poly, hit above .500 for just the second time in her career, with the other coming earlier this season at Cal State Fullerton. She also surpassed 1,800 career kills in the match, furthering her lead as the all-time kills leader in rally scoring era program history.

With the win, the Gauchos (17-2, 7-1 Big West) remain tied for first-place in the Big West with Cal Poly and became the first team this season to knock off UC Davis (12-9, 4-4 Big West) at home.

Reigning Big West Player of the Week Tallulah Froley joined Ruddins in double-figures with 10 kills, while the Gauchos as a team were firing on all cylinders to the tune of a .394 hitting percentage (46-9-94). UCSB was a force at the net, out-blocking the Aggies 19 to 7, led by six blocks alone from Deni Wilson and five from Kjia Rivers. Gigi Ruddins also contributed in a big way with nine kills on .444 hitting.

The Gauchos were particularly hot in the opening set, hitting .429 in a 25-18 win as Froley sparked a late 7-2 run with three kills.

The second set saw two major swings with Santa Barbara riding the momentum to a 10-3 start before UCD went on a 7-0 spurt to tie the score. The teams continued to battle back and forth until L. Ruddins broke a 23-23 tie with a kill and Froley teamed up with Rowan Ennis for a huge block to give the Gauchos a 2-0 advantage.

The third set was even more of a seesaw affair that came all the way down to the wire, and the Ruddins sisters sent down back-to-back kills, with Gigi adding the exclamation point on the victory.

Olivia Lovenberg and Romoni Vivao once again facilitated the offense with 23 and 15 assists, respectively, while Zoe Fleck and Torre Glasker scooped up a team-high nine digs apiece.

UC Davis hit .255 (42-17-98) as a team and was led by 14 kills from Lauren Matias.  

UCSB continues its road trip this Saturday, Oct. 26 at 5:00 p.m. at UC Riverside.