It was Lily Lopez who recorded the final kill on Saturday and it was only fitting that she did.
The sophomore middle blocker set a new career-best with 15 kills – and her first-ever time reaching double figures in the category – as the UCSB women’s volleyball team defeated 15th-ranked San Diego for the second straight day.
The 24-26, 25-21, 25-19, 19-25, 15-13 victory followed Friday night’s 3-1 win. UCSB, which is 4-1, has earned all of its wins against teams that played in the 2008 NCAA Tournament.
Lopez, though, had help from one of her young teammates. Freshman Leah Sully served two of her three service aces in a critical point of the fifth game, helping turn a three-point deficit into UCSB’s second straight win.
Rebecca Saraceno led the Gauchos with 16 kills, but hit just .170 a day after hitting .676. Lopez, meanwhile, accumulated her kills in 25 swings and finished with a .360 hitting percentage. As a team UCSB hit .216 a day after setting a school record with a .495 clip.
Either way, the Gauchos will surely take the sweep, especially because it came at the hands of the No. 15 Toreros, so UCSB should receive some votes in the forthcoming AVCA poll.
Two other Gauchos also finished with double-digit kills. Stacey Schmidt racked up 10 kills for the second straight match and Sully had 13 to go along with her three service aces and 14 digs for her first double-double. Setter Dana Vargas passed out 54 assists.
UCSB led 5-3 in set five, but USD quickly tied the score and the two teams traded points until the Toreros took a commanding 13-10 lead on one of Ashton Bosch’s 12 kills.
However Saraceno, the lone Gaucho senior to play in the match, recorded a kill, setting up Sully’s two consecutive aces. That was enough to put away the Toreros as Saraceno notched another kill before Lopez ended the match.
Lopez tallied five kills in the first and third sets en route to her career mark.