April 19, 2006
Los Angeles, Calif. - The No. 9 UC Santa Barbara men's volleyball team won its first game of the season against No. 7 UCLA Wednesday night in the MPSF Tournament Play-in game, but it would lose its fourth consecutive match to the Bruins on the season, 3-1.
Steve Klosterman dominated the match for the Bruins, offering 22 kills kills and two blocks. Aaron Richman put the Gauchos on his back for most of the match, leading the team with 17 kills and almost winning the second game by virtue of his will.
The Gauchos appeared as if they were primed for an upset in the first game, jumping out to a 14-10 lead after a Derek Otte kill. The Bruins were flustered by the Gaucho block as UCSB dealt the Bruins four in the first game. The Gauchos pushed their lead to as many as five at 20-15, but the Bruins slowly crawled back in the game, pinching Santa Barbara's lead to one at 29-28, but sophomore middle blocker Theo Brunner's kill put game one in the books for the Gauchos.
UCSB had a chance to take a 2-0 lead as they battled back from a 14-18 deficit to tie the second game at 29-29. Richman was responsible for the Gauchos' final six points, but it wouldn't be enough. A David Russell kill put the Bruins up 30-29 and a Bryan Berman hitting error knotted the match at 1-1.
With momentum at their backs and Klosterman swinging well, the Gauchos quickly fell behind in the third game 1-6. Despite many attempts to close the gamp, the closest UCSB would come would be at 21-25, but from there the Bruins would go on a 5-2 run to close out the third game and go up 2-1 in the match.
The third game was more of the same. Klosterman continued to assert himself as the dominant player on the court and Santa Barbara quickly fell behind again 4-11. UCSB would never lead in the fourth game, eventually succumbing by 15 point margin, 30-15.
UCSB finishes its season with a 13-16 overall record and an eighth-place finish in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. The Bruins move on to the MPSF quarterfinals and will travel to No. 2 Hawaii this weekend. The Bruins move to 21-12 overall on the season.