April 6, 2006
Santa Barbara, Calif. - Aaron Richman had a career-high 21 kills while Theo Brunner tallied 15 to lead the No. 8 UC Santa Barbara men's volleyball team (13-12 overall, 9-10 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation) to a 3-1 victory over No. 10 USC (11-16, 7-13 MPSF), 30-23, 25-30, 33-31, 30-26.
Junior middle blocker David Kennedy was exceptional for the Gauchos, tallying 15 kills on a .619 hitting percentage to subsidize the UCSB attack. As a team, Santa Barbara hit .379 on the night compared to the Trojans' .349 clip.
Juan Figueroa led the charge for USC, notching a game-high 24 kills on a .436 hitting percentage. C.J. Schellenberg provided support for the Trojans, finishing with h18 kills on a .333 clip.
UCSB jumped out to an early one game lead after falling behind 10-14. Once Richman and Brunner began to assert themselves though, UCSB went on a run to tie the game at 20-20. From there, the Gauchos would go on a 10-3 run to finish out the game.
The Trojans' lone win of the match came in the second game. After claiming the lead at 9-8, USC would never look back, riding Figueroa who would tally six kills from that point on in game two.
With the match tied 1-1, UCSB and USC played to a 22-22 tie. USC maintained the lead thereafter until the two teams met at 25-25, 26-26, 28-28, 29-29, 30-30 and 31-31. At 31-31, a kill by Richman put the Gauchos up one and an attack error by Figueroa put the game in the books.
Down 3-4 in game four, with a 2-1 lead in the match, UCSB regained the lead at 5-4 and never trailed again. The Gauchos would pad their lead by as many as six points at 19-13, but the Trojans put on the pressure as they cut the lead to three at 29-26, but a Bryan Berman kill ended the Trojan bid.
UCSB returns to the court Saturday when they travel to Pepperdine for a 7:00 p.m. match.