Volleyball Falls to USCB in Season Opener
September 4, 1998
LONG BEACH, Calif. - The 23rd-ranked Washington volleyball team opened its 1998 season with a 3-0 loss to No. 10 UC Santa Barbara Friday at the Pyramid in the first match of the LBSU Tournament. The Gauchos won the games by scores of 15-13, 15-7 and 15-5.
Washington was led by its lone senior, All-America candidate Leslie Tuiasosopo. She had team highs in kills (15), digs (12) and blocks (six). UCSB, which knocked off national champion Stanford earlier in the week, improved to 2-0. All-American Roberta Gehlke had 14 kills and 14 digs to pace the Gauchos.
The Huskies, who finished second in the Pac-10 and 11th in the final rankings last season, were playing without eight players that graduated from the 1997 team. Friday night's lineup included four new starters.
Washington led the first game 8-4, thanks in large part to the Huskies' strong block, but UCSB came back with seven unanswered points to take a 11-8 lead before taking the game, 15-13. Washington, which led the NCAA in blocks last year with 4.0 per game, out-blocked the Gauchos 6-0 in game one.
UCSB carried the momentum into game two, winning a quick 15-7 decision. In game three, UCSB jumped out to an 8-0 lead on the way to a 15-5 victory.
The Huskies take on No. 2 Long Beach State Saturday. Last season, the 49ers knocked the Huskies out of the NCAA Tournament in a third-round match at the Pyramid.
COLLEGE VOLLEYBALL LBSU INVITATIONAL No. 10 UC Santa Barbara 3, No. 23 Washington 0 Washington 13 7 5 UCSB 15 15 15
Kills: UW 43 (Leslie Tuiasosopo 15), UCSB 56 (Katie Crawford 15).