The UC Santa Barbara Women’s Volleyball team (22-3) made their way up the 101 to take on the Cal Poly Mustangs here on Halloween.

It took four sets to decide who would come out with the win in the Blue-Green Rivalry, and tonight, it was UC Santa Barbara. The Gauchos defeated the Mustangs on their home court with scores of 25-23, 25-21, 24-26, 25-15.

“I really wish we could have the last 10 points of that third set back,” UCSB head coach Matt Jones said. “We just got a little sloppy with our execution. Overall, I’m really happy with our serving and great resilience to come back and put it all together in the fourth set.

“We are slowly getting back to full strength. I am looking forward to the Hawai’i match this weekend as it is always such a fun environment to play in.”

From the first serve, the Gauchos had control. Setter Grace McIntosh started the match with a four-point run from the service line to give her team an early advantage.

Despite the early lead, this tough Cal Poly team worked their way back into the match, tying the score at 11. It didn’t last for long as McIntosh returned to the service line, going on another four-point run that included an ace.

This only kept the Mustangs at bay for a short time as they came back to tie the score yet again, this time, at a more crucial point in the set. Despite Cal Poly’s fight, it didn’t keep the Gauchos down as they took the first set 25-23 over the home team.

From there, the Gauchos kept their feet on the gas. Even though the Mustangs took the early lead, they could not hold Santa Barbara back.

With the help of Tasia Farmer’s five kills in this set, the Gauchos pushed ahead and ultimately took the second set 25-21 from Cal Poly.

With McIntosh at the service line yet again, the Gauchos started this third set with another multi-point run. This gave the visitors the push needed to keep the lead all the way until the final 10 points.

Cal Poly refused to let the match end in three sets. They chipped away at the Gauchos to tie up the match at 23 before taking the lead.

Even with the Gauchos’ attempts to rally back for the win, it was too late as Cal Poly took the third set in extra points with a score of 26-24.

That’s when the Gauchos wanted revenge. They came out in this fourth set on fire, not giving the Mustangs any room to work with.

This team effort resulted in a quick fourth set as Santa Barbara defeated Cal Poly 25-15 to win the match.  

Briana McKnight led all the Gauchos in kills tonight, racking up 15. Along with that, she added on a season-high five aces and eight digs.

Michelle Ohwobete was the only Gaucho to earn a double-double. She contributed 10 kills on offense while adding on 10 digs on defense. She even helped from the service line, setting a new season-high in aces with five.

On defense, Macall Peed and Grace Wuischpard were the biggest influences. Wuischpard set everything up in the front row, contributing seven blocks, while Peed picked up what came through the block, notching 18 digs.

Farmer is finding her groove after sitting out due to injury. She finished tonight’s match with 12 kills while hitting at a .333 clip. To top it all off, she added on four blocks.

The Gauchos will make their way to Honolulu, Hawai’i as they take on the Rainbow Wahine of the University of Hawai’i. First serve will be at 10 p.m. PT on Saturday, Nov. 4 with a live stream available through ESPN+.