MVB: Gauchos squash Banana Slugs in 3

Fresh off a third-place finish in the 50th annual UCSB Invitational, the Gauchos kept their high level of play going in a 3-0 (25-13, 25-19, 25-20) exhibition sweep of Division III opponent UC Santa Cruz.

UCSB, who entered the week with a 1-0 record and the No. 10 ranking in the country, hit at a collective .420 clip for the match. The Gauchos offense was led by middle blocker Ryan Thompson and outside hitter Matt Hanley, who each finished with eight kills. Both were extremely efficient against the Banana Slugs, with Thompson taking just 10 swings and Hanley taking 13.

At the center of the UCSB offense was setter Jonah Seif, who puzzled the UCSC front row en route to a match-high 35 assists. He was one of four Gauchos, along with Thompson, middle blocker Ryan Hardy, and outside hitter Weston Nielsen, to finish with a match-high three blocks.

Outside hitter Austin Kingi had an effective night, putting down seven kills and two aces while leading all players with seven digs.

UCSB will wrap up its regular season nonconference schedule this Friday night when they host Concordia (Calif.) at 7 p.m.