No. 7 Gauchos Defeat Concordia in Four

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

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - No. 7 Santa Barbara (13-8, 9-7) bounced back from last week as they took a four-set match from Concordia on Wednesday night (21-25, 25-13, 25-18, 25-12). After coming up short in the first set, the Gauchos eventually found their rhythm and finished the night hitting .407 while holding the Eagles to a .180 clip.

Matt Marsh (18 kills, .625) Jacob Delson (14 kills, .571) and Jonah Seif (44 assists) dominated the Gaucho offense and carried Santa Barbara to a victory.

"We've been practicing hard, so to start like that was dissapointing," said Marsh. "We wanted to prove to ourselves that we could play better and come out with more energy.  Everyone stepped it up in the next three sets so we came out with the win."

The Eagles started off the first set strong and maintained control until they finished the set 25-21.  Senior opposite hitter Joseph Pillon racked up 13 kills for the match and led the Eagles to take set number one.

The second set kicked off with three consecutive kills from Delson as the Gauchos began to take revenge on their opponent.  Freshmen middle blocker Henry Cherry was a weapon behind the service line getting back-to-back aces to give the Gauchos a five-point lead.  With this cushion, Marsh turned up the heat and closed the set with a pair of kills.

Marsh continued his hot streak into the third set and a five-point service run by Delson gave the Gauchos game point with a final score of 25-18. 

Senior outside hitter Austin Kingi gave the Gauchos a comfortable lead with a service ace and run to start the fourth set up 5-0 and forcing the Eagles into a timeout.  The final set was truly a team win as multiple players stepped up, including Freshmen Hayden Boehle and Connor Drake.  The collective effort allowed the Gauchos to dominate the game 25-12.

The Gauchos will return to competition on Wednesday, March 23rd as they travel to Long Beach State to take on the 49ers in Walter Pyramid at 7pm.