September 30, 2011

Tigers Fall At The Thunderdome In Four

Santa Barbara, Calif. - Taking on a Gaucho team that was making their first appearance at home in the 2011 season, the Pacific women's volleyball team suffered a 3-1 loss on Friday, September 30.   The defeat dropped the Tigers to 10-6 on the year and 1-2 in the conference while the Gauchos improved to 2-1 in the Big West and 9-6 overall.

Game scores for the match were: 25-21, 25-18, 22-25, 25-6.
Off to a slow start, the Tigers unforced errors staked the Gauchos to an early lead in the opening game.  Finding themselves down five at 12-7, the Tigers began to trade points with the Gauchos, a scoring approach that allowed Pacific to claw back only as close as three points late in the game before succumbing to the Gauchos.
Needing to regroup in game two, the Tigers took an early lead in the frame as they spread the ball around throughout their offense.  However, up two at 14-12, a critical swing in momentum occurred as UCSB rolled off three straight points after a home timeout to take a lead they would not give back.  From there, the Gauchos would run away with the game and command of the match.
With their backs against the wall, Pacific came out of the break firing, capitalizing on a more fluid attack while also forcing the Gauchos into mistakes they were not making earlier in the match.  Swinging freely and blocking with precision, the Tigers built themselves a six-point cushion at 17-11 from which to play off of at the end of the game when the Gauchos tried to mount a defensive comeback.
Despite their recovery in game three, Pacific's excitement was short lived as UCSB ran out to a 5-0 lead to open game four, forcing the Tigers to use an early time out that would prove to be of no use.  Before the Tigers could find their way in game four, the Gauchos had already built a 15-0 lead.  The loss in game three proved to be Pacific's worst single-game loss in the rally score era and the first time the Tigers had ever been held to single-digits in a rally score game.
In the loss, freshman Katy Tagart posted her first career double-double as she tallied 12 kills and 15 digs.  The freshman also added three blocks to lead the Tigers' defensively.  Senior Samantha Misa was the only other Tiger to hit double-digits in kills and she posted 10 kills on 46 swings, but a 10 error night kept Pacific's top hitter from excelling on the night.
For the Gauchos, Leah Sully led they way with 17 kills and 18 digs while Kara Sherrad added 14 kills and 11 digs and Stacey Schmidt posted 11 kills, nine dige and a match-high seven blocks.
Last season the two teams split their season series with the Tigers winning in the Thunderdome in five while the Gauchos took a four-game match at the Spanos Center.  The Gauchos lead the all-time series 50-26 with the victory at the Thunderdome.
The Tigers will close out their first conference road trip of the year with a trip to San Luis Obispo, Calif. on Saturday, October 1 when they take on the Mustangs of Cal Poly.  Pacific will hit the court at Mott Gym for a 7:00 pm scheduled start.