MVB: Gauchos remain in playoff hunt with Hawaii win

HONOLULU, Hawai’i — In a crucial road game against MPSF conference-mates Hawai’i, the Gauchos were able to collect a 3-1 victory with set scores of 25-23, 25-21, 18-25, 25-22. The victory pushed the Gauchos to 13-12 overall with a 9-10 MPSF mark.

UCSB currently finds itself in a three-way tie for the seventh spot in the conference standings, with Cal Baptist and Cal State Northridge also sitting at 9-10. With 9-9 Stanford facing a tough matchup against Long Beach State on Saturday night, it’s possible there could be a four-way tie for sixth place before the Gauchos begin action tomorrow night.

Ninth place Hawai’i fell to 9-15, 8-13 with the loss, suffering a significant blow to their playoff chances.

Senior outside hitter Miles Evans led the Gauchos offense in the four set victory, picking up a team-high 14 kills and hitting .235. The Santa Barbara native finished just one dig shy of a double-double. Sophomore outside Austin Kingi also chipped in on offense, recording seven kills, but did most of his damage from the serving line, tallying a career and match-high four service aces.

Junior opposite Evan Licht continued his strong play, picking up a double-double with 12 kills and 11 digs. Senior middle blocker Dylan Davis was once again a force to be reckoned with, collecting nine kills on a .533 clip while also leading all players with six blocks.

The Warriors had three players finish with double digit kills in Brooke Sedore (15), JP Marks (12), and Sinisa Zarkovic (13), but the rest of the team combined for just 13 kills and as a team they were outhit .280 to .260 by the Gauchos.

UCSB and Hawai’i will do battle again tomorrow night at 10:00 p.m. Pacific time in another match that will have huge playoff implications.