Gauchos sweep Northridge, move into first place

UCSB overwhelmed Cal State Northridge on Saturday night, 25-19, 25-13, 26-24, and in doing so the Gauchos find themselves in first place in the Big West women’s volleyball standings.

Coupled with Long Beach State’s four-game victory over Cal State Fullerton on Saturday, the Gauchos moved a half-game ahead of both the 49ers and Titans in the conference. Santa Barbara is 13-9 overall and 7-2 in the Big West. Long Beach State and Cal State Fullerton are each 6-2 in conference play.

Four UCSB players had at least six kills, five had at least seven digs and the Gauchos combined for 11.0 total team blocks to sweep the Matadors (9-15, 2-7).

Kasey Kipp had a monster night for the Gauchos as she had nine kills and combined for 10 blocks — two solos and eight assisted. The senior middle blocker hit .692.

Charlene DeHoog led the way as the only Gauchos to hit double-figures in kills as she tallied 10 to go with eight digs. Stacey Schmidt and Kara Sherrard each had six kills. Dana Vargas passed out 29 assists to go with three kills and 11 digs. Kelly Heenan had 13 digs.

On the night Cal State Northridge hit just .031 and swung at a -.077 clip in the second set. UCSB hit just .196 on the evening, but was firing in game two, hitting at a .314 clip.

The Gauchos have a tough week ahead as they travel to face Cal State Fullerton on Friday and Long Beach State on Saturday. Both matches start at 7 p.m. UCSB returns home for a four-match homestand beginning on Nov. 2 against UC Riverside.