MALIBU, Calif. – Despite a two-week layoff caused by the Montecito mudslide and the subsequent closure of the 101 freeway, the UC Santa Barbara men's volleyball team showed no signs of rust in a 3-1 victory over No. 10 Pepperdine Saturday night at the Firestone Fieldhouse. Set scores were 28-26, 21-25, 25-22, 25-23.
Junior outside hitter Corey Chavers spurred UCSB (3-1) to victory with a career night on the attack, as the Downey, Calif. native set a new personal high with 24 kills on .333 hitting. Chavers wasn't just dominant with his offense, but also led the team in both aces (two) and blocks (six, tied with freshman middle Jack Truman).
Sophomore outside hitter Roy McFarland chipped in a dozen kills of his own while sophomore libero Grady Yould led all players with a season-high 13 digs. Overall, UCSB outhit the opposition .220 to .118.
Pepperdine (1-2) received 17 kills from Colby Harriman, but no other Wave was able to crack the 10-kill mark.
The Gauchos led for the majority of the opening game, but Pepperdine was able to fight off two set points off a 24-22 deficit to send it to extra points. After a bit of see-saw action, UCSB emerged victorious when Spencer Fredrick registered an ace to set up the team's fourth set point of the night, which McFarland capitalized on with his third kill of the frame.
Pepperdine put up its biggest fight in the second, erasing a 14-7 disadvantage by reeling off 10 of 13 points – a run featuring three momentum-sapping blocks – to knot it at 17-17. Unfortunately for the Gauchos, the Waves had another big spree in them, winning six of the last points to even the match at one apiece.
It was the Chavers Show in the final two frames, as the UCSB outside registered 6.5 points in the third set as UCSB hit a match-high .343 before putting down nine kills in a highlight-reel fourth set. Sophomore setter Randy DeWeese (43 assists) clinched the third with a nice left-handed dump off the pass and the Gaucho front row produced four blocks in the fourth as Pepperdine hit at a -.167 clip.
UCSB continues its season next week on the road at a pair of nationally-ranked MIVA institutions, tackling No. 8 Loyola-Chicago on Thursday before battling No. 11 Lewis on Saturday.