MVB: Gauchos dump Bruins in four

No. 9 UCSB defeated tenth ranked UCLA 3-1 at Rob Gym. Set scores were 25-14, 22-25, 25-16, and 25-20.

Star players for the match were senior outside Weston Nielsen and senior opposite Kevin Donohue, who picked up 12 and 11 kills, respectively. Junior setter Jonah Seif lead the defense with 37 assists, 10 digs, and six block assists. Jake Staahl was another force to be reckoned with, recording five block assists and eight kills, finishing with a .615 clip for hitting.

UCSB started off strong with a 25-14 win against UCLA in the first set. The offense was headed by Staahl and Nielsen, each with four kills. Junior outside Spencer Buckley trailed shortly behind with three kills. The Gauchos took and early 9-1 lead, aided by two kills in a row from Buckley. Despite Bruin efforts, Staahl and the Gaucho offense were too much to handle. Two kills in a row by Santa Barbara and a block by Ryan Hardy and Kevin Donohue solidified the win for the first game.

The Gauchos lost their momentum in the second game as UCLA clinched the win 25-22. Outside hitter J.T. Hatch contributed five hits for the Bruins, while Christian Hessenauer picked up seven. UCSB started off with the lead, but UCLA quickly caught up and took over from 9-8 on. The Gaucho defense couldn’t seem to handle the Bruin frontline. However, they still put up a good fight with three hits from Nielsen and four digs from Seif.

UCSB dominated the third set 25-16. The game started off close, but not for long as the Guachos started to edge forward at 8-9. Santa Barbara brought in four hits – two from Staahl and one a piece from Donohue and Nielsen. Senior middle blocker Ryan Hardy was another key player in this match, going three for three in hitting. The UCLA offense marked up numerous attacking errors, confirming UCSB’s lead. From this point forward, the Gauchos showed no mercy, and kept up the lead until the end.

Santa Barbara continued their momentum in the fourth and final set with a 25-20 victory. The win was aided by five stellar kills from Donohue, followed by two kills each from Nielsen and Staahl, and one from Seif. The outstanding Gaucho offense seemed to take a toll on UCLA, causing them to make numerous attacking errors in a row, putting the Gauchos ahead by three towards the middle of the game. Two service aces in a row from Donohue at 21-17 and an attacking error on the Bruins cemented the Gaucho win.

UC Santa Barbara looks to keep up its winning streak on Wednesday, March 25, against Concordia at 7:00PM in Rob Gym.

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