Courtesy: UCSB Athletics
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – For the second straight September, the UC Santa Barbara Women’s Volleyball team has garnered a sweep of the Big West Athlete of the Week awards, it was announced Monday afternoon.
HUGE numbers vault UCSB’s trio of Ruddins, Petrachi and Lovenberg to weekly glory 👏👀👏@UCSB_Volleyball now owns 4 of the Big West’s first 6 PoW awards 🏐💪
Read all about a Gaucho career-high-filled weekend! #GoGauchos 🔥🔥 https://t.co/LIQHu08Bfa
— UCSB W Volleyball (@UCSB_Volleyball) September 3, 2018
Outside hitter Lindsey Ruddins (Player of the Week), libero Emilia Petrachi (Defensive Player of the Week) and setter Olivia Lovenberg (Freshman of the Week) all upped their numbers in the second weekend of 2018 non-conference play, resulting in the Gauchos’ first conference award sweep since Sept. 25, 2017. UCSB has now claimed four of this season’s first six Big West weekly honors, with Lovenberg repeating as Freshman of the Week.
Player of the Week – Lindsey Ruddins
With her first Big West Player of the Week in 2018, Lindsey Ruddins now has five for her career. That breaks a four-way tie for the program record with former Gauchos Roberta Gehlke (1996-99), Janine Sandell (2003-05) and Rebecca Saraceno (2006-09), who all had four Player of the Week awards to their name.
Ruddins was on fire from the get-go at the Denver Classic this past weekend, averaging 5.00 kills per set on the way to 60 kills and a .227 hitting percentage. She also had 35 digs (2.92 D/S) and nine blocks (0.75 B/S), racking up two double-doubles for the second straight week.
In the opening match of the weekend against tournament host Denver, Ruddins finished with 27 kills (.300), tying a season-high. It was her eighth career 27-kill performance, tied for No. 11 in the UCSB rally scoring charts. She also had 12 digs and season-highs of four total and two solo blocks. Ruddins went on to tally 15 kills and 14 digs against Sacramento State before closing the week with 18 kills and nine scoops in the Gauchos’ 3-1 win over McNeese State.
Defensive Player of the Week
Senior libero Emilia Petrachi had at least 20 digs in all three matches in Denver, including a career-high 30 in the win over McNeese State. She posted at least 4.00 digs per set in each contest, averaging 5.83 overall.
Following a 20-scoop (4.00 D/S) performance at Denver, Petrachi went for 20 in three sets (6.67 D/S) against Sacramento State. She closed the weekend averaging a season-best 7.50 digs per game against the Cowgirls, reaching the 30-dig mark for the first time since her freshman season. Petrachi also added six assists and one ace for the weekend.
Petrachi now owns six of the program’s eight Defensive Player of the Week awards since 2014. For her career, she has just one fewer than last week’s winner, UC Davis libero Malia Bolko, who owns the conference record with seven.
Freshman of the Week
Lovenberg claims her second straight Freshman of the Week honor after setting up the Gaucho offense to the tune of 12.42 assists per set. She had at least 40 helpers and eight digs in all three matches, adding two more doubles to give her a total of four through her first six career outings.
The freshman was huge down the stretch in Friday’s match against Denver, playing a part in 17 of the Gauchos’ final 23 points in a frantic fifth-set finish. She ended her day with 10 digs and a season-high 55 assists – good for the second-highest total in the Big West this season – along with personal-bests of four kills (.800) and three blocks.
After going for 40 assists, eight digs and tallying her first three career aces against Sacramento State, Lovenberg’s numbers would once again explode against McNeese State, when she finished with 54 helpers (13.5 A/S) and 11 digs in just four games.
The San Diego, Calif. native Lovenberg now leads the conference in assists per set (10.88 A/S) and total assists (272). To put that in perspective, UC Riverside’s Chelsea Doyle (238 assists, 10.35 A/S) is the only other player in the conference to have over 200 assists or to average more than 9.00 assists per set at this juncture. Lovenberg now has three 50+ assist efforts through six matches this year – the rest of the Big West has two.
UCSB returns to Santa Barbara this weekend to open its 2018 home schedule at the Thunderdome Classic, beginning with Texas Tech on Friday, Sept. 7 at 6:00 p.m. On Saturday, the Gauchos will take on Sacred Heart (12:00 p.m.) and Seton Hall (7:00 p.m.).
OLÉ OLÉ OLÉ! @UCSB_Volleyball sweep #BWCAOTW honors!
Lindsey – 5.00 k/s (60 total) + 2.92 d/s.
Emilia – 20+ digs in 3 matches, inc. a single-match high 30.
Olivia – REPEAT! 12.42 a/s + career-best 55.
📰 https://t.co/Mzqhw0Fcgt#GauchoPride #StartBig 💪🤠🏐 pic.twitter.com/6IyJE2MizS
— Big West Volleyball (@BigWestWVB) September 3, 2018