SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - No. 9 UC Santa Barbara had a tough rematch against No. 4 UCLA Friday night at Rob Gym, but ultimately lost in 3 games, 25-22, 25-15, 25-23.
The Gauchos fall to 9-7 in conference play and 13-8 overall. The Bruins end up at 13-3, 17-3.
UCSB had 28 kills all together but was out beat by UCLA, who finished with 36 kills, hitting .247. The Bruins ended with 7 service aces and 19 blocks, the Gauchos trailing shortly behind with 6 and 10, respectively.
Junior outside hitter Jacob Delson headed the Gaucho offense, with 9 kills and 3 service aces. Other standouts were Senior middle blocker Ryan Hardy and Senior outside Austin Kingi, each with 5 kills. Senior setter Jonah Seif contributed 23 assists and 2 kills to the match.
Bruins were led by Sophomore outside hitter Jake Arnitz, who had 12 kills and 2 block assists. Freshman setter Micah Ma'a racked up 5 kills of his own, along with 17 assists and 2 service aces.
UCSB came out fighting in the first set, recording 14 total kills, while Delson hit a game high clip of .571. Bruin's Mitch Stahl put up a strong front line, but a kill from Kingi gave the Gauchos a slight 9-10 lead. The two teams continued to battle it out with rally scoring for the majority of the set. Kills from Hardy and freshman outside hitter Corey Chavers, followed by a serving streak brought UCSB back ahead to 16-18 toward the end of the game. Kills by Delson and freshman middle blocker Henri Cherry kept the score tight, but an attack error by Chavers gave the Bruins a win in the first set.
UCLA dominated the second set with 8 kills and 6 blocks, resulting in a quick 15-25 victory over UC Santa Barbara.
Strategic kills from Hardy and Kingi kept a tight score at the beginning of the third set. A block assist by Delson and Hardy put the Gauchos ahead 6-9, resulting in a timeout called by the Bruins. After a few tough plays, consecutive errors from UCLA and a kill from Hardy, tied the score again at 17-17. Two service aces in a row by UCLA and a kill from Bruin's JT Hatch solidified the win against UCSB.
UC Santa Barbara will be back in action against Concordia, Wednesday March 9th at 7:00PM in Rob Gym.