Chanel Hoffman finished the night with a career-high 19 kills, but it was not enough against Long Beach State who downed UCSB in three sets at the Walter Pyramid on Saturday night.
Hoffman’s career night came off one of her best hitting performances this season, as she finished with a .341 clip. The Gauchos (10-6, 1-2) hit for a combined .239 hitting percentage with setter Hannah Juley guiding the team with 36 assists.
While Hoffman shouldered the load for the Gauchos on offense, Rowan Ennis led the way on defense with five total blocks, continuing what has been a standout weekend for the freshman. Not to be overlooked, Megan Rice – also a freshman – notched four blocks in the match.
In the digs category, Emilia Petrachi paced UCSB with 16 digs, while Hoffman added 11 of her own to complete her fourth double double of the season.
The match’s most competitive set was its first, as the 49ers were able to survive UCSB 28-26. It was a game that was tight from the word go as neither team held a lead larger than three points. Long Beach State was able to reach the 20-point mark first, but an Ennis solo block would tie the score and set the stage for the competitive play fans would see down the stretch.
Three Gauchos recorded a kill to keep their team close with the 49ers, but LBSU (10-7, 4-0) was able to gain an edge late with a 3-0 to close out the set one victory. Missy Owens tied the game at 26-26, while a Gaucho attacking error and one of Nele Barber’s LBSU-leading 12 kills clinched the game.
The second set was tight early on, but Long Beach State put together a late 4-1 run to gain a 22-18 edge. Competing with their highest attacking clip of the match at .300, UCSB though was able to come within two points at 24-22 thanks to kills from Hoffman, Rice, and Lindsey Ruddins, who was playing for the first time in two weeks. But despite putting pressure on Long Beach State’s lead, the 49ers were able to come up with one more kill to take the 2-0 lead at the break.
In the third set, the Gauchos again were able to stay close midway through the game, but LBSU created separation with a 4-0 run to take a daunting 22-16 lead, which led to its 25-18 win.
UCSB will be back in the Thunderdome on Thursday night to host UC Davis.