MVB: Gauchos put up big block to beat Hawai’i

Jonah Seif - UCSB Volleyball

Jonah Seif sets in Thursday’s match against Hawaii.

UCSB used a balanced attack and a steadier performance to defeat 11th-ranked Hawai’i in four sets Thursday night at Rob Gym.

Austin Kingi posted 13 kills and Matt Hanley added eight to pace the Gauchos to a 25-19, 21-25, 25-22, 25-23 victory in a MPSF match.

“We came together as a team tonight to get a win we needed,” said UCSB coach Rick McLaughlin, whose team was coming off a five-set loss against UC Irvine. “We still have a lot of work to do to get where we want to be, so we’ll be ready for them again tomorrow night.”

The Gauchos (4-2, 3-2 MPSF) and Hawaii play again on Friday night.

Middle Ryan Thompson had a good night at the net, assisting in seven total blocks for the match. On the attack, he hit an impressive .455. Evan Licht had four blocks, including three in the fourth set.

The hitting of Thompson, Licht and Hanley rallied the Gauchos from a 10-6 deficit in the third set. A solo block by Jake Staal ignited a comeback from an 11-7 deficit in the fourth set. Licht and Thompson combined on a block to tie the score at 13-13. They blocked two more balls during a three-point run to give UCSB the lead for good.