Los Angeles – UCSB won their first away match of the season against USC at the Galen Center. With full force from the serving line and at the net, the Gauchos took the game in four sets (25-16, 30-28, 21-25, 25-21).
The victory boosts the Gauchos to a 6-11 overall, 4-9 MPSF record. The Trojans fall to 3-8, 3-8.
The Gauchos started out the first set strong with a four-nothing lead against the Trojans. Eventually, UCSB extended to an eight-point lead at 18-10 and coasted to an early victory. The second set came down to the wire as the teams began trading points at 21 all. A Trojan error at 28-28 and a final block by Jonah Seif and Dylan Davis gave the Gauchos a 2-0 set lead.
After a surge of USC energy taking the third match, the Gauchos started off the fourth match with a 6-1 lead. However, the Trojans would not give and the game was neck and neck at 13 all. USC battled to stay in the game as the Gauchos fought for their first road victory. With only a one-point lead at 20-19, Evan Licht hammered a kill to sparked a four point Gaucho run. The night ended with a USC serving error.
Key players for the Trojans included Tanner Jansen, who ended the night with an impressive 15 kills, and Joey Booth, who picked up 14 kills and a service ace. Henry Cassiday had a game-high 14 digs.
On the other end, the Gauchos’ middle blockers had an incredible night. Senior middle blocker Dylan Davis, who pounded 11 kills and shut down the Trojan offense with 14 blocks. His efforts tie him with his season-high total blocks and the 14 block assists is his new career-high. Moreover, junior middle blocker Evan Licht came out on fire and nailed a career-high 13 kills and picked up a career-high nine digs. Additionally, Kevin Donohue recorded seven blocks and Jake Stahl had six.
Ultimately, the Gauchos had an extremely successful night at the net and from the serving line. As a team, UCSB accumulated 21.5 total team blocks, a second best of the season. They topped their previous season-high seven serving aces with ten.
UCSB ended its four-game losing streak and finally game up victorious on the road. The Gauchos have two more road games before they return home. Next, the Gauchos travel to face UCLA on Wednesday night.