LOGAN, Utah -- Senior Zuzana Cernianska recorded a match-high 20 kills to go along with a team-high 16 digs and six blocks to lead Utah State's women's volleyball team to a five-game win (30-25, 25-30, 22-30, 30-25, 15-9) against 24th-ranked UC Santa Barbara in the opening match of the 2005 Stanford Invitational here Thursday, Sept. 16. USU improved to 6-4 on the year with the win, while UCSB falls to 4-4 with the loss.

The win by Utah State snaps a nine-match losing streak to UC Santa Barbara and a 15-match losing streak against ranked opponents. The last time an Aggie team defeated a ranked opponent was when USU defeated 19th-ranked Brigham Young in five games in the first round of the 2001 NCAA Tournament.

After winning game one by nine points, USU lost the next two games by five and eight points. In the fourth game, Utah State hit .302 on 16 kills and just three errors, while UC Santa Barbara notched 20 kills, but also had nine hitting errors to drop the game. The fifth game was all Aggies as they scored the first four points and led 6-1 before the Gauchos rattled off six of the next nine points to close the gap to 9-7. USU answered that run with four straight points to take a commanding 13-7 lead en route to the 15-9 win.

Utah State was 0-3 on the season in five-game matches prior to its win against the Gauchos.

Redshirt sophomore Beth Hodge added 13 kills and 16 digs for Utah State, while seniors Erin Graybill and Ingrid Roth had 14 and 12 kills respectively. Sophomore Amanda Orgill also had 12 kills for USU, while senior Victoria Zimmerman (Barrington, Ill.) had 50 assists and 14 digs.

UC Santa Barbara was led by Janine Sandell who had 19 kills and 17 digs, while Jamie Garbisch had 13 kills and 19 digs.

As a team, Utah State hit .263 with 74 kills and 23 errors, while UC Santa Barbara hit .162 with 65 kills and 35 errors. USU also added 74 digs and seven service aces in the match, while the Gauchos had 80 digs and 10 service aces.

Utah State will return to action on Fri., Sept. 16 when it plays third-ranked Stanford. USU will then conclude the tournament on Sat., Sept. 17 against 23rd-ranked St. Mary's.

Utah State 3
#24 UC Santa Barbara 2
USU 30 25 22 30 15
UCSB 21 30 30 25 9

-- Courtesy Utah State