MVB: Gauchos stay hot in sweep of Harvard

UCSB maintained its spotless record against Harvard by sweeping the Crimson in three straight sets on Friday night.

It’s the fourth straight win for the Gauchos and they are undefeated since they returned home last week.

Game scores for the night went 25-16, 25-15, 25-22. The win boosts the Gauchos to a 11-12 overall, 8-10 MPSF record. Harvard falls to a 12-5 overall record.

The Gauchos moved to the Thunderdome for the home game and came out on fire. UCSB rocketed off to a 10-3 start and kept the intensity throughout the set. Evan Licht slammed a kill to end the first set by a nine-point margin. Licht had a powerful first set with seven kills and three blocks.

In the second set, the Gauchos capitalized on the Crimson’s poor hitting percentage. Harvard was only able to convert eight kills the entire set. UCSB went off on another early lead at 9-4. Dylan Davis hammered a kill to spark a huge run after a Crimson timeout. The Gauchos dominated the second set, ultimately winning by ten.

Nonetheless, Harvard would not give up and kept the third game tight. There were 12 tie scores and seven lead changes. Near the end, UCSB won three straight points to give them a 23-19 advantage. Even though the Crimson tried to hang on, Austin Kingi’s kill ended the night.

For the Gauchos, Licht led the offense with nine kills. Miles Evans had a big night, picking up seven kills. Both Jonah Seif and Chad Kingi scooped up ten digs apiece. Jake Staahl, Davis, and Licht each ended the match with four blocks.

Harvard has proven that they are a strong team this season. Opposite Nick Madden led the team with eight kills. DJ White picked up six kills and ten digs. Additionally, Caleb Zimmick matched White with six kills.

Recently, Harvard overtook Pen State, one of the top teams in the country, showing that they are force to be reckoned with. The Gauchos knew that they had to be prepared to take on the Crimson.

Head coach Rick McLaughlin commented, “I thought are guys did a real good job at being ready and being focused.” UCSB established that it was ready for Harvard early on in the night.

Still, UCSB is in pursuit of a playoff spot. Its four game winning streak shows that they are strong team. The Gauchos have one more home game before they go back to the road.
UCSB has a week off before they take on Concordia at home. The game on March 26 will be at 7:00 p.m. in the Thunderdome. The Gauchos have built up an incredible momentum that will hopefully sustain the week break.