Feb. 24, 2006
Santa Barbara, Calif. - The No. 8 UC Santa Barbara men's volleyball team (9-8 overall, 6-6 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation) needed four games to defeat visiting Cal Baptist (7-7 overall) Friday night, and it appeared as though they would need five, but the Gauchos erased a seven point deficit in the decisive fourth game to win the match, 30-24, 30-21, 27-30, 38-26.
Junior opposite Evan Patak led the Gauchos with 22 kills while junior outside hitter Bryan Berman had 20. David Kennedy had an extremely efficient game, recording nine kills on 11 attempts for a .818 hitting percentage.
Ghana natives Shamsu Awudu and Seidu Ajanako kept the Lancers hopes alive throughout the match as the two combined for 53 kills, 30 by Ajanako and 23 from Awudu.
After jumping out to a 2-0 game lead, it appeared as if UCSB was going to cruise to a sweep over the top-ranked NAIA team, but with the score knotted 22-22 in the third game, Cal Baptist went on a 6-1 run to take a commanding 28-23 lead. The Gauchos inched back to bring the score to 29-27 after a kill by Patak, but the Lancers would take the game after a broken play ended on an errant over-hit by Armen Zakarien.
With momentum at their back, the Lancers jumped out to a 14-7 lead in the fourth game. Cal Baptist continued to lead until the Gauchos tied the game at 27-27. The Gauchos served for match-point at 30-29, but a kill by Ajanako evened the score at 30. UCSB would not serve for match-point again until a Bryan Berman ace gave the Gauchos a 37-36 lead, and an attack error by Awudu would give the match to Santa Barbara.
UCSB returns to action next Wednesday when they play host to Long Beach State at 7:05 at Robertson Gym.