Nov 3, 2013 1:37 AM by Brian Thurmond
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - Senior Megan McConnell tallied 12 kills while Hannah Schleis added 10 kills, but it would not be enough as the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos swept the Mustangs in three set in a Big West Conference volleyball match on Saturday in Mott Athletics Center.
UCSB won by set scores 25-20, 25-12 and 26-24. With the loss Cal Poly falls to 10-12 overall and 4-5 in Big West play while UCSB improves to 13-8 overall and 8-1 in conference play. Cal Poly will return to the court on Nov. 8 when the team will host Hawai'i for a 7 pm match.
Outside of McConnell and Schleis, Cal Poly's next leading kill leader was Taylor Gruenwald, Maddie Kuber and Lexi Reddick with three kills each as the Mustangs hit .056 for the match. Seniors Steffi Sooter and Kate Walters each had 10 digs to lead the team.
UCSB was led by Ali Barbeau with 16 kills with Leah Sully and Ali Spindt adding 14 and 13 digs respectively. UCSB hit .227 for the match.
Cal Poly held a 3-1 advantage in aces, but UCSB dominated at the net in blocking, 13-5. Phoebe Grunt led all players with seven blocks (two solo) while Marianne Gera had four for the Mustangs (one solo).
In the first set, UCSB pulled out to a 16-11 lead, but the Mustangs fought back to tie the set at 20-20 on a kill by McConnell only to have the Gauchos close the set on a 5-0 run and a 25-20 win. UCSB hit .300 in the set while the Mustangs hit .186.
The second set was all UCSB as the team opened the set, 4-0, and built a seven point lead (14-7) at the midway point. The Gauchos continued with the hot hand and closed the set 25-12 with the team hitting .320 and limiting the Mustangs to a -.118 hitting percentage.
The third set saw the teams battle through 10 ties and three lead changes. UCSB opened up a 7-4 lead only to have the Mustangs come right back and tie it up at 8-8 on a kill by Schleis. The Mustangs built a 14-11 lead on kills by McConnell and Reddick only to have UCSB come back and tie it up at 15-15. The teams traded point until UCSB opened a 20-17 lead with Cal Poly fighting back again to tie it up at 20-20 on a kill by Schleis. In the closing moments of the set, Cal Poly trailed, 24-22, but Schleis recorded back-to-back kills to tie up the set with UCSB scoring the final two points and a 26-24 win.
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