No. 10 UCSB Finishes UCSD in Three

Jonah Seif (photo by Tony Mastres)
Jonah Seif (photo by Tony Mastres)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - No. 10 Santa Barbara earned their second sweep of the week after taking down UC San Diego Friday night in Rob Gym (25-20, 25-22, 25-14). 

The victory improved the Gauchos' overall record to 10-5 and 6-4 in conference as the Tritons dropped to 3-10 overall and 0-9 in conference. 

Hitting at a .440 clip on the night and an impressive .652 in the third set, the Gauchos offense was led by senior right side hitter Matt Marsh with 15 kills and senior outside hitter Austin Kingi chipping in nine.  

Triton outside hitter Kirill Rudenko racked up 12 kills hitting .611, but his efforts couldn't match the standout night for the gauchos.

In the first set, Kingi lit the fire for the Gauchos as he kicked off the match with five kills.  The two teams battled back and forth defensively with Santa Barbara finishing the set off with 12 digs and San Diego with 10.  With the game tied at 19-19, an ace by Ryan Hardy gave the Gauchos the momentum to finish up 25-20.  

Hardy continued his streak into the second game as he went four for four in kills leading Santa Barbara to a 25-22 victory.  

The Gauchos came out of the gate strong in the third set with a four-point serving run from Freshman outside hitter Corey Chavers to give the gauchos a lead of 13-6.  If that wasn't enough, two consecutive kills by Seif gave the Gauchos with an eight point lead. Their momentum only continued as setter Grady Zant entered the game to take over the offense with five assists and setting up Sophomore outside hitter Drew Pion for a kill at 22-11 to finish the match 25-14.  

The sweep by the Gauchos was a team effort as Santa Barbara finishes off their weekend with two home victories.  UCSB will hit the road to take on Pepperdine on Wednesday, Feb. 5 at 7pm.