Jan. 31, 2007
Santa Barbara, Calif. - The third-ranked UC Santa Barbara men's volleyball team made quick work of No. 13 USC Wednesday with a 3-0 victory in front of 640 fans at Robertson Gymnasium. The Gauchos used a blistering attack and relentless blocking to pick up their third straight Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) win.
Scores of the match, which lasted just one hour and 24 minutes, were 30-16, 30-16, and 30-18. UCSB improved to 8-2 overall and 6-1 in MPSF play, while USC fell to 3-6 and 2-4.
The Gauchos set the pace in the opening game by hitting an impressive .762 with 16 kills and no errors in 21 attacks. UCSB jumped out to an 8-0 lead as Theo Brunner recorded the first kill of the match and Evan Patak then served seven straight points. UCSB pushed its lead to 12 points when a Patak ace made it 19-7. The torrid Gaucho attack continued and UCSB went up by 15 points at 27-12. Patak had five of his match-high 12 kills in the first set, while Brunner, David Kennedy, Bart Kowalski, and Patak all had two blocks in the frame. UCSB had five total team blocks in the game and Bryan Berman, Brunner, and Patak all hit .800 or better.
The Trojans hit a dismal .036 with 10 kills and nine errors in 28 attacks in game one.
Game two was tied at 2-2 before a USC service error gave UCSB the lead for good. Kowalski had two consecutive kills to go along with an Aaron Richman/Kennedy block and a Trojan attack error to cap a four-point run and give the Gauchos a 22-11 advantage. Brunner, Patak, and Richman all had four kills in the game.
The Gauchos took control of game three following a Trojan service error that led to a four-point run, putting UCSB up 7-3. Kennedy ended up with five kills in the game, while Brunner added three more blocks to his total.
UCSB, which swept both Long Beach State and UC San Diego on the road last week, finished with 46 kills and just seven errors in 77 swings, good for a season-high .506 hitting percentage. Kennedy had nine kills and no errors to hit .818 and Brunner totaled 10 kills and no errors to hit .667. Both players recorded five blocks as UCSB out-blocked USC 11.5-3.0. The Gauchos, who never trailed in the match, were also stellar from the service line, dropping in 12 aces, seven of those coming off the hand of Patak. Aaron Richman had a match-high seven digs.
USC, which upset UCLA in three games last week, hit just .108 in the match. Juan Figueroa led the Trojans with seven kills, while Hunter Current had six and Matt Pavlovich totaled five. Luke Morris and Jonathan Hackett each had four digs.
It was the second sweep for UCSB over USC this season. The Gauchos have won the previous six matches against the Trojans.
UCSB will host a key MPSF match-up Saturday as No. 4 Pepperdine visits Robertson Gymnasium at 7 p.m. The Waves entered the week in fourth place in the league behind BYU, UC Irvine, and UC Santa Barbara. Pepperdine stunned UC Irvine, the top-ranked team in the nation at the time, last week by handing the Anteaters their first loss of the season.