The UC Santa Barbara Women’s Volleyball team (8-1) competed in the final day of the Utah Classic hosted by the University of Utah. Today, the Gauchos took on the Tennessee State University Tigers.
It only took three sets to decide the winner of this match, and it was the Gauchos who came out on top (25-19, 25-18, 25-19).
“I’m really proud of this team,” UCSB head coach Matt Jones said. “We had two long matches yesterday and our team was able to focus despite being pretty physically tired and get the win today.
“I’m glad we were able to have a few different players get some action today and contribute to this team win. We know next weekend is going to be tough and we will be back in the gym ready to get back to work.”
This match started in favor of the Gauchos. Briana McKnight went on a four-point service run to start the first set before the Tigers fought back.
Due to multiple errors by the Gauchos, Tennessee State took the lead, going up by as many as four points in that time. However, Santa Barbara picked up their pace, tying the score at 15 before running away with it.
With the help of Grace McIntosh’s five-point service run, the Gauchos came out of the first set with the win, putting up a score of 25-19.
The Gauchos learned from their mistakes and came out on fire in the second. The Tigers hung on for the first five points before Michelle Ohwobete served up three aces in a row to give her team the early advantage.
Tennessee State fought back in the middle of the set, getting within one of the Gauchos, but that was the closest they got.
UC Santa Barbara continued with the pressure from the service line while executing on the attack, leading the Blue and Gold to a 25-18 win to go up 2-0 in the match.
The Tigers had enough, coming out hot in the third set. They went up by four right at the start before the Gauchos cleaned up their game.
UC Santa Barbara rallied from the deficit, regaining the lead and then some. The Gauchos closed out the third and final set of the Utah Classic with a score of 25-19.
Ohwobete ended the match with nine kills to go along with five blocks to lead the front-row efforts. She was also a force from the service line with four aces.
Sophie Reavis was also a leader on offense as she tied Ohwobete for the most kills with nine.
The senior duo of McKnight and Macall Peed both racked up double-digit digs in the match, collecting 14 and 10, respectively. Peed also scored points from the service line, notching three aces.
The Gauchos will head back to Santa Barbara for a few days before traveling to Ames, Iowa for the Cyclone Invitational hosted by Iowa State University.
UC Santa Barbara will take on the host team on the first day of the tournament, Sept. 14, at 4:30 p.m. PT, with a stream available through ESPN+.