SANTA BARBARA, Calif. —The Gauchos (15-9, 11-9) held their own tonight in Rob Gym with a 3-0 sweep of the UCSD Tritons (2-24, 0-20) giving the players a celebratory win on their Senior Night. Senior Kevin Donohue racked up an impressive 12 kills, senior Weston Nielsen grabbed eight, and senior Jake Staahl produced a .500 clip going 5 for 10 in kills. Junior Jonah Seif also left a great impression with 29 assists, four service aces, 16 digs, and three block assists. For the Tritons, Tanner Syftestad had six kills, five digs, and three block assists. Libero Tyler Bird added eight digs.
UCSB's chances for clinching of playoff spot are alive and relying on Stanford falling to Hawaii later tonight. As Jonah Seif puts it, "I think we have to improve and go far in order to make another championship run. We have a really good test next Wednesday away against Pepperdine. Our team just needs to keep working hard."
Match scores were 25-23, 25-17, and 25-20.
The first game was the closest of the night at 25-23, almost going point for point the whole game through. Donohue hit .500, while Nielsen picking up his first two kills of the night, and Staahl his first three. Attacking errors from the Tritons were consistent throughout the match, a factor that the Gauchos capitalized on.
The Gauchos took it to another level in the second game, resulting in a 25-17 win. Nielsen, Jacob Delson, and Donohue put up four, three, and two kills respectively. On the defense, Nielsen also gave four digs, Seif seven, and libero Hayden Boehle three. UCSB took the lead from the first point and held onto it; a block assist from Delson and Hardy and consecutive kills from Donohue and Delson brought the score from 1-1 to 4-1. Hardy and Seif showed prowess at the serving line with a pair of service aces.
The third and final game of the night was polished off at 25-20. Donohue recorded six more kills, while Seif took that many more digs and added three service aces. Two of those were included in his 4-0 serving run to start off the game; Delson added his own ace a few points later, widening the lead to 7-1. Two kills from Donohue rounded the night off with a win, giving the Gauchos the confidence they need to chase after a championship run.
UCSB looks to find victory on the road again, playing Pepperdine next Wednesday and Stanford that Saturday. MPSF playoffs start April 25 with the First Round.