No. 11 UCSB Wraps Homestand With 3-1 Loss to No. 6 Hawai'i

Keenan Sanders (photo by Eric Isaacs)
Keenan Sanders (photo by Eric Isaacs)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – No. 6 Hawai'i defeated No. 11 UC Santa Barbara in four sets on Saturday night to capture both ends of a two-match series at Rob Gym. Set scores were 25-20, 25-27, 25-21, 25-14.

Saturday's decision, which broke the unofficial NCAA record for most floor wipe breaks in a match, came on the heels of a 3-0 win for UH (17-6, 5-3 Big West) on Friday night. With one week left in the regular season, UCSB saw its record drop to 10-11, 3-5. 

UCSB was paced on offense by junior outside hitter Corey Chavers, who led all players with 21 kills on .292 hitting. The Downey, Calif. native also chipped in a pair of aces, half of UCSB's total for the match. Sophomore opposite Keenan Sanders added 13 kills on .210 hitting. Sophomore setter Randy DeWeese had a solid all-around night, dishing out 43 assists, serving up two aces, posting three kills on five swings, and finishing with seven digs which trailed only libero Grady Yould's nine. 

With 20, opposite Rado Parapunov led Hawai'i in kills for the second straight night. The southpaw added 10 blocks, the most by a Gaucho opponent this season, for a double-double. Two other Rainbow Warrior hitters finished with double figures in kills while libero Larry Tuileta had a match-high 16 digs. 

UCSB won its first set of the weekend in the second on Saturday, using four kills apiece from Chavers and Sanders as well as a standout outing from sophomore outside Roy McFarland, who notched five of his seven kills for the night in the frame. The Gauchos actually trailed late in the set 23-21, but won three straight points capped off by a Sanders-Connor Drake block to give UCSB the lead at 24-23. At 25-25, a dump from DeWeese off a high pass from Chavers gave the Gauchos set point, which they converted on after a tough serve from McFarland got the Rainbow Warriors out of system leading to an over-long swing from Stijn van Tilburg.

The Gauchos wrap up the regular season next week with a home-and-home against UC Irvine, hosting the Anteaters on Thursday night in UCSB's final home contest of 2018 before traveling to the Bren Center on Saturday night. The inaugural Big West Tournament, hosted by Long Beach State, is slated for the following week.