No. 12 Gauchos Sweep UCSD For First MPSF Win

Photo by Eric Isaacs
Photo by Eric Isaacs

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – No. 12 UC Santa Barbara controlled all facets of the game in a three-set sweep of MPSF rival UC San Diego on Friday night at Rob Gym, claiming the team's first conference win of the young season.

Set scores were 25-19, 25-11 and 25-20.

The Gauchos' (4-1, 1-1) chief advantage came in the serve-and-pass department, out-acing the Tritons 6-0. UCSD (0-3, 0-2) was out of system practically all night, resulting in a lowly .015 hitting percentage. 

"It's always good to get back on the court as soon as possible after a tough five set loss, and our guys were ready to go," said UCSB head coach Rick McLaughlin. "We served and passed the ball tonight at a high level, and doing well in those areas usually results in a win."

Freshman setter Casey McGarry was a top performer for UCSB, steering the team to a solid .391 hitting percentage while he was on the court while leading the team's serve effort with three aces. Senior outside hitter Jacob Delson led the team once again with nine kills and spent nearly as much time at the service line as McGarry though he did not record an ace. 

Strong serving led to a number of opportunities for UCSB's middles, who led a block effort that outproduced UCSD 8.0-3.0. Sophomore Henri Cherry led all players with five blocks while chipping in two kills on as many swings, and freshman Keenan Sanders notched six kills on 11 errorless swings. 

The Gauchos played some of their most dominant volleyball of the season in the second, hitting .611 to UCSD's -.048 and winning the set by a whopping 14 points. Unstoppable serving from McGarry and Delson the second time through the rotation was what turned the tide, making a 9-7 lead balloon to a 19-8 advantage. 

UCSB continues its season-long seven-match homestand next week with contests against USC on Wednesday, Jan. 18 and Cal Baptist on Friday, Jan. 20. Both matches are slated for 7:00 p.m. starts.