On the final day of the Buffs Invitational, the UC Santa Barbara women’s volleyball team came away with a thrilling, five-set come-from-behind victory over Wyoming, 25-21, 20-25, 26-28, 25-16, 15-11, before falling to host Colorado in four sets (25-16, 25-19, 22-25, 25-21) on Saturday night in Boulder.
In the first match of the day, the Gauchos rallied from a 2-1 set deficit to defeat Wyoming.
After pounding a game-high and season-best 21 kills, senior outside hitter Lindsey Ruddins moved into second all-time in UCSB history in career kills. Entering the day just one kill behind Kristie Ryan (1989-92), Ruddins’ 21 gave her 1,567 for her career, also leap-frogging Danielle Bauer (1999-2002). Ruddins, who totaled 587 kills last season, is chasing only Roberta Gehlke (1996-99), who is the all-time leader with 2,153.
Neither team recorded an efficient hitting percentage, with the Gauchos edging the Cowgirls .130 (64-38-200) to .120 (50-28-184) for the match. UCSB recorded 92 digs to 83 for Wyoming while the Gauchos also out-blocked its opponent 23-15.
Zoe Fleck and Torre Glasker were defensive forces throughout the match, recording 28 and 21 digs, respectively, while Ruddins added 16 for the double-double. Deni Wilson followed up her strong freshman debut with another solid 11-kill, four-block performance while Rowan Ennis led the team with eight blocks to go along with eight kills.
Olivia Lovenberg (27 assists) and Romoni Vivao (24 assists) shared the setting duties again, while Tallulah Froleyand Kija Rivers tallied seven kills apiece.
In the night cap on Saturday evening, the Gauchos went up against host Colorado, who received votes in the latest AVCA Top-25 Poll, and pushed the Buffaloes late but ultimately fell 3-1.
Ruddins led the way once again on the offensive end with 19 kills while Ennis, Froley, Wilson and Tasia Farmertallied seven apiece. Vivao turned in a 17-assist, 11-dig double-double while Lovenberg dished out 22 assists to lead the team. At the net, Ennis sent down seven blocks while Glasker added four.
Colorado outhit the Gauchos .227 (50-21-128) to .144 (51-30-146) and finished with 58 digs to UCSB’s 48.
The Gauchos (2-1) are back in action next Friday, Sept. 6 against NC State at 11:30 a.m. PDT to open the VCU Invitational.