SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – No. 15 UC Santa Barbara battled tightly with No. 5 Lewis for four sets on Saturday night, but ultimately dropped the non-conference contest 25-19, 22-25, 25-23, 25-22.
The MIVA-member Flyers, who were playing their third match in as many days on a west coast road trip, improved to 16-5 on the year. The Gauchos meanwhile dropped to 9-11.
Other top performers include freshman setter Casey McGarry, who logged 29 assists in two-plus sets while parlaying his wicked jump spin serve into three aces, senior libero Parker Boehle (team-high seven digs), and sophomore middle Henri Cherry (five kills in limited action).
Lewis was led by left-swinging Mitch Perinar's 17 kills, just ahead of Ryan Coenen's 15 for the team lead.
UCSB got off to a slow start in the match, as the Flyers led from start to finish and held the home squad to negative hitting.
The Gauchos responded in the second with their best play of the night, hitting .303 and outlasting Lewis for the win. Things actually looked dire for UCSB in that frame, with the visitors using a 7-0 run to pull ahead 14-11. The Gauchos clawed back to tie it at 18-apiece, setting up UCSB to take the set late by winning its last three points.
Sophomore opposite Corey Chavers started off the mini-run with two straight kills – including a perfectly placed roll shot to finish off an impressive sequence that started with a McGarry scoop and a nice set from Delson – and then Spencer Fredrick and Keenan Sanders were able to get to their right and stuff Kyle Bugee for a set-clinching block.
In an extremely tight third set, Lewis got revenge on the Gauchos with a late run of their own, winning five of the final six points to go ahead 2-1 in the match. Middle Jacob Schmiegelt was pivotal for the Flyers during the surge, contributing on all five points (three kills, two block assists).
Lewis rode that late momentum into a sizable lead early in the fourth, pulling ahead 9-3. UCSB fought back and tied it 16-all, and the teams were neck and neck over the next eight points.
With the score 20-20, Lewis setter Matt Yoshimoto's serving gave his team just enough cushion, with an ace kicking off a 3-0 run to make it 23-20. Lewis was content to trade points from then on, sealing it on a Perinar kill off the block.
UCSB wraps up non-conference action next week with home contests against Harvard on Monday and Concordia University Irvine on Wednesday.