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UC Santa Barbara upsets No. 5 Hawaii in 5

  • CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COMAli Longo dug the ball as teammate Sarah Mendoza urged her on in the first set of Friday's match against the Santa Barabara Gauchos.
    CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM
    Ali Longo dug the ball as teammate Sarah Mendoza urged her on in the first set of Friday's match against the Santa Barabara Gauchos.

Senior Katey Thompson put down 19 kills as UC Santa Barbara upset No. 5 Hawaii 25-21 25-20, 21-25, 22-25, 15-12 in a Big West volleyball match Friday night at the Stan Sheriff Center.

It was the first Big West loss for the Rainbow Wahine (15-2, 4-1) since losing to the Gauchos (8-8, 2-2) in 1994, a streak of 41 straight. 

Wahine senior hitter Emily Hartong finished with a match-high 20 kills but got little help as Hawaii hit a season-low .111. 

“We dug ourselves into too big of a hole tonight and Santa Barbara played very well,” Hawaii coach Dave Shoji said. “There’s nothing we can do about it now. We have to move on and prepare for tomorrow night.”

The Wahine host Cal Poly (8-8, 2-1) in a 7 p.m. match Saturday. 

Both of Hawaii’s losses this season have come in five sets. The Wahine also lost to San Diego 3-2 on Sept. 1. 

Hawaii led early in Set 5 at 5-3 but UCSB rallied to take a 6-5 lead behind Thompson’s tough serving. The Wahine were able to regain the lead at 10-9 on a kill by Hartong only to have the Gauchos pull away for good with a 3-0 run.

A kill by freshman hitter Nikki Taylor brought Hawaii to within 13-12. UCSB got a kill from Thompson then stuffed senior hitter Ashley Kast for its 17th block to finish it after 2 hours and 38 minutes.

Freshman hitter Ali Spindt added 12 kills and sophomore hitter Ali Barbeau 10 for Gauchos. Sophomore libero Leah Sully finished with a match-high 22 digs with Thompson in on 11 blocks. 

Hawaii out-dug UCSB 67-65, with senior libero Ali Longo finishing with 18 and Hartong picking up her ninth double-double with 11.

Junior middle Kalei Adolpho was in on six of the Wahine’s 11 blocks. Sophomore middle Jade Vorster had eight kills, and Taylor and Adolpho seven. 

UCSB was the last team Big West team to beat Hawaii, doing so on Nov. 10, 1994. The Wahine defeated the Gauchos the next night to start their streak, going 18-0 in 1995 before leaving for the Western Athletic Conference for 15 seasons.

Hawaii went 18-0 in its return to the Big West last season and won its first four matches this year. 

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