Coming off a pair of road victories last weekend, the UCSB women’s volleyball team returns home for two Big West matches against Cal State Fullerton and UC Riverside on Friday and Saturday at the Thunderdome.
Both matches are scheduled for 7 p.m.
The Gauchos had a very strong run of play last week, going 2-0 on their road trip to Northern California.
Friday night’s win over UC Davis was characterized by the Gaucho middles’ dominance. Britton Taylor and Jenna Wilson had a dozen kills apiece – tying a career-high for Wilson. Jaylen Villanueva received the majority of the setting duties, and was able to establish chemistry with the middles. Taylor Formico assaulted the Aggies back row with a career-high four aces. As a team, the Gauchos had a season-high 11 aces.
Saturday night’s win over Pacific was a come-from-behind five-game thriller. The outcome of the match was up in the air until the very end, as the Gauchos trailed in all five sets. Back to back kills from Katey Thompson in the fifth set clinched the match for UCSB. Leah Sully had 22 kills in that match, while Jenna Wilson had eight blocks.
Formico, a freshman libero, continues her strong season.
A week after setting the UCSB freshman dig record, Taylor had arguably her strongest week of play yet, garnering her first Big West Player of the Week nomination. With her 64 dig, six-ace weekend, Formico entered a pair of respectable Top-10 lists. After hovering around the No. 20 mark for most of the season, Taylor jumped to ninth nationally with her 5.61 dig
per game average. She is fourth nationally in total digs. She also cracked the top-10 UCSB single season dig list. At 488 digs, she sits just two digs below No. 9 Kristin Nelson’s 2003
campaign of 490 digs.
Formico leads the Big West Conference in digs by a large margin. Her 488 scoops give her over an 100 dig lead on the No. 2 libero – UCI’s Kristin Winkler (385). Taylor 5.61 overall dig rate has only gone up since conference play began – she is sporting a 5.84 digs per game rate in Big West matches. With her six aces last week, Taylor also has the fourth best aces per game rate in the BWC.