Volleyball Upsets #9 UC Santa Barbara In Three Games
Sept. 30, 2000
LOGAN, Utah - For the second time this season Utah State's volleyball team defeated a top-10 opponent in three games, as the Aggies ran rough-shot over the Gauchos of UC Santa Barbara by scores of 15-12, 15-6, and 15-0 to improve to 12-3 overall and 4-0 in the Big West Conference and alone in first-place. USU has now won 10 matches in a row and 25 of its last 32 dating back to the 1999 season. UCSB dropped to 9-4 with the loss and 3-1 in league play. It was the first time since the 1978 season that USU has defeated Santa Barbara.
"That was an unbelievable match," commented second-year head coach Tom Peterson. "That was a total team effort, and when we play for an entire match like we did tonight we are pretty good. To record 16 team blocks against a very good team and to hold UCSB to a negative hitting percentage for an enitre match is unthinkable, and I doubt that has ever happened to them before."
The match began a little shaky for the Aggies as Santa Barbara recorded aces on the first two plays of the game and quickly built a 4-0 lead, but from that point on it was all Utah State. USU slowed the Gauchos momentum mid-way through the opening stanza and won a hard-fought 15-12 game. In game two, the Aggies continued to put the pressure on UCSB and notched an easy 15-6 win. In the deciding game three, the Aggies never let Santa Barbara get going and blanked the Gauchos 15-0 to record the win.
Highlighting the Aggie charge was the senior trio of Amy Crosbie (Visalia, Calif.), Melissa Schoepf (Georgetown, Calif.), and Denae Mohlman (Shoreline, Wash.), who combined to notch 31 of the teams 40 kills. Crosbie had a match-high 12 kills in the contest to go along with 13 digs and two blocks, while Schoepf added 11 kills, and Mohlman notched eight kills, seven digs and nine blocks. Junior setter Chelsi Neves (Otto, Wyo.) also had great match for the Aggies with six digs, five blocks and 33 assists to go along with three kills.
"For us to beat a team like Santa Barbara in three games and to beat them 15-0 is a big deal," stated Crosbie. "We have been focusing on staying in control and consistent for an entire match, and when we do that we are a very good team. A lot of our success is due to the fact that we run a very quick offense that keeps our opponents guessing on defense and that was the case tonight."
As a team, Utah State hit .236 overall and notched 16 team blocks, while limiting Santa Barbara to a negative .017 hitting percentage and only five team blocks. UCSB did have a 48-45 dig advantage, while both teams recorded four service aces.
Utah State will hit the road next weekend as it continues conference play at Long Beach State on Thursday, Oct. 5, followed by a match at Pacific on Saturday, Oct. 7.