NORTHRIDGE, Calif.— Following a decisive win against Long Beach State, the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos were unable to overcome Northridge, losing in four sets (25-18, 21-25, 25-23, 25-23). With the loss, UCSB falls to 15-8, 14-8 MPSF, but are still in contention to make—and host—a playoff match.
Offensively, the Gauchos put up a solid number of kills. Led by Weston Nielsen's 16 kills, the UCSB attack averaged 12 kills per set. Matt Hanley followed up his career-setting match with only 13 kills while Evan Licht was able to slam 10 kills.
UCSB was limited offensively by the Matador net presence of Greg Faulkner and Damani Lenore. Both tallied five block assists each. Northridge was also able to strike offensively, led by Sam Holt's 18 kills.
Jake Staahl quelled the Matador attack with an impressive solo performance at the net with two solo blocks as well as three block assists. Jonah Seif, Ryan Thompson, Matt Hanley, and Evan Licht each had an assist in two blocks to aid the Gaucho net presence. Seif and Hanley additionally were able to each strike for a service ace.
The Gauchos return home next Wednesday against Cal Baptist, followed by a decisive rematch against BYU, a team UCSB has had significant success against compared to other MPSF teams.