WVB: Gauchos swept by Big West champs

The UCSB women’s volleyball team closed its home schedule with a three-game loss to No. 8 Hawaii on Saturday night as five Gaucho seniors played their final matches at the Thunderdome.

Set scores for the match were 25-16, 25-21, 25-19.

Opposite Jaylen Villanueva had the best night of the team’s seniors, totaling a squad-high seven kills on 27 swings with a pair of blocks. Fellow seniors Hanna Nielson (10 assists), Britton Taylor (one kill), Shauna Klein (two digs), and Ali Barbeau (two kills) all put in solid performances as well when they were on the floor.

The Gauchos dropped to 7-19 overall with the loss with a 3-12 mark in conference play.

With their win, the visiting Rainbow Wahine completed an undefeated 16-0 run through the Big West schedule, having clinched an outright conference title last week. Hawaii is 26-1 overall on the season, with their only loss coming to UCLA.

Outside hitter Nikki Taylor led UH’s offense with 11 kills, but the majority of damage done by Hawaii came from the team’s middles, with Emily Maglio (10 kills) and Olivia Magill (nine) combining for 19 kills on just 28 swings. Both swung for a hitting percentage over .600 on the night, leading their squad to a .322 attacking clip for the night compared to UCSB’s .074.

UCSB freshman libero Alexis Rottman had a breakout performance from the service line, racking up four aces after entering the match with zero in her career.

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