Friday, Apr. 19, 2019 at 8:00 p.m. PT (5:00 p.m. HT)
Big West Tournament Semifinals
No. 4 UC Santa Barbara (18-9) vs. No. 1 Long Beach State (25-1)
Stan Sheriff Center - Honolulu, Hawaii
All-time Record / Streak vs. the 49ers: 50-51 / Lost 8
LBSU Streak / Last 10 – Won 6 / 9-1
UCSB Streak / Last 10 – Won 1 / 5-5
2019 Series: LBSU def. UCSB, 3-2 @ LBSU on Mar. 14
LBSU def. UCSB, 3-1 @ UCSB on Mar. 15
Saturday, Apr. 20, 2019 at 11:00 p.m. PT (8:00 p.m. HT)
Big West Tournament Championship
UCSB/LBSU vs. UCI/UH
No. 4 Gauchos Rally for Five-Set Win over No. 5 CSUN
The No. 4 seeded UC Santa Barbara men's volleyball team rallied from a 2-1 deficit to defeat No. 5 CSUN 3-2 (25-16, 25-27, 26-28, 25-13, 15-9) on Thursday night at the Stan Sheriff Center to advance to the Big West Tournament Semifinals against No. 1 Long Beach State on Friday night. The match followed the same mold as UCSB and CSUN's final regular season match that saw the Gauchos rally from down 2-1 with dominant fourth and fifth set victories. Honolulu native and Freshman Player of the Year Ryan Wilcox led UCSB on the offensive end with 15 kills on .419 hitting and was one of four players in double figures as Corey Chavers tallied 14 kills, Spencer Fredrick recorded 13 and Keenan Sanders added 12 to go along with his career-high 12 blocks for the double-double. Randy DeWeese was sensational as well with a career-high 58 assists in addition to six blocks and four digs. Hayden Boehle recorded a game-high 15 digs.
Last Time Out against Long Beach State
In the first meeting of the season between UCSB and Long Beach State back on Mar. 14 in the Walter Pyramid, the Gauchos became the first team in 2019 to force the 49ers to a fifth set after the Beach had only lost one set all year entering the night. The loss snapped a rally scoring era program record 12-match win streak for UCSB. The Gauchos came right back the next night at home and pushed LBSU to the brink once again, nearly forcing another five-set match with a 24-21 lead in the fourth, but eventually fell 3-1. Long Beach showed its resilience scoring five straight points in that fourth set, and staved off six consecutive match points from UCSB in the second set, to avoid letting the Gauchos take a 2-0 lead. Both of the first two sets went 31-29 in a thrilling affair in front of a near capacity crowd of 1,378 in Rob Gym. Both Corey Chavers and Spencer Fredrick had 16 kills apiece while Casey McGarry notched a double-double with 44 assists and 11 digs.
Keenan Sanders' 12 blocks in Thursday's first round match were the most in the Big West Conference this season and the first time he has reached double-figure kills in his career. UCSB had 32 total blocks in the match, a season-high, while holding CSUN to just three. Ryan Wilcox and Randy DeWeese added six blocks apiece while Spencer Fredrick had three and Corey Chavers along with Brandon Hopper were in on two each.
In last season's inaugural Big West Tournament, No. 5 UCSB fell to No. 4 CSUN 3-1 at the Walter Pyramid in Long Beach in the opening round. No. 1 LBSU swept No. 2 Hawai'i in the title match and eventually went on to win the NCAA Championship.
In the Record Books
Senior libero Hayden Boehle reached the No. 8 spot in the UCSB record books with 687 career digs to date while also reaching No. 8 in single-season history with 260 digs this year, surpassing Olympian Todd Rogers and has a chance to climb even higher with at least one more guaranteed match to play. Corey Chavers also cemented himself in history, reaching No. 4 all-time with 94 service aces.
Wilcox Named Freshman of the Year; Four Gauchos Earn All-Big West Honors
Ryan Wilcox capped off an impressive debut campaign with Big West Freshman of the Year honors, highlighting a quartet of Gauchos recognized among the All-Big West Teams that were announced on Monday afternoon. Senior outside hitter Corey Chavers landed on the First Team along with fellow senior libero Hayden Boehle while Wilcox also earned Honorable Mention accolades. Both Wilcox and freshman middle blocker Brandon Hicks were named to the All-Freshman Team.
Chavers Leading the Charge
Senior outside hitter Corey Chavers has had a phenomenal senior campaign for the Gauchos, adding a First Team All-Big West selection to his trophy case for 2019. Chavers has been named Big West Athlete of the Week three times, earned an AVCA National Player of the Week honor and was named Off the Block's National Outside Attacker of the Week, twice. Chavers had a 10 consecutive match streak with double-digit kills earlier in the season and leads the Big West with 357 kills (3.47 k/s). Not a one-trick pony, Chavers also leads the team with 38 service aces, and is among the leaders with 116 digs and 59 total blocks.
I Can Dig It
Senior libero Hayden Boehle ranks second in the Big West and sixth in the nation with an average of 2.50 digs per set. The Westchester, Calif. native leads the conference and ranks fourth in the nation with his total of 260 digs. He had a season-high of 18 digs come in a five-set win at CSUN and has 16 double-digit dig matches this year.
Santa Barbara played the seventh toughest schedule in the nation in 2019 with their cumulative opposition boasting a .609 winning percentage (401-257). 20 of UCSB's 26 matches were against AVCA Top-15 opponents and the Gauchos went 11-9 overall against them.
Irons, Devany Named to AVCA Thirty Under 30
UC Santa Barbara men's volleyball Associate Head Coaches Cullen Irons and Vincent Devany were named American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Thirty Under 30 recipients, it was announced last week. The award recognizes the top 30 up-and-coming coaches at all levels of the sport, and nominees had to be younger than 30 years old in 2018. Irons and Devany were the lone recipients from the NCAA Division I-II Men level.