It was a close game throughout it all, but UCSB just couldn’t find their rhythm against the visiting side. Ultimately, Pepperdine ousted the home side’s comeback and took the fifth and final set. With the final result ending at 2-3 in favor of the Waves, the Gauchos will look to get these errors under wraps and find their form just in time for the start of this new Big West Conference season.
Wednesday night started off fairly even on both ends of the court as each time attempted to break free from the tied scores.
However, it was Pepperdine’s set as the Gauchos always seemed to be either trailing or close to bringing it all even.
The deciding point in the match eventually came in the latter half once the Waves found their momentum and a 21-18 lead. At that point the Gauchos couldn’t break the separation in points and the set was soon lost by a score of 25-22.
By the second set, the Gauchos came out of the break with much more intensity.
Thanks to an improvement in performance on the defensive side of the ball, UCSB maintained a cushion of two to three points over Pepperdine for most of the second set. The Gauchos went on to take this set by a 25-21 final score, as it was 1-all on the night’s volleyball meet.
The third set proved to be not only the closest but also a crucial one, as both offenses were battling it out at the net.
Gaucho junior outside hitter Corey Chavers was the key player in this one as he put up an impressive 8 kill total in this set alone.
However, it was not enough as Pepperdine managed to clutch it out and hold off UCSB in the final points of the set; earning them 2-1 on the night by a set score of 26-24.
Now in desperation mode, the Gauchos fought back once again and managed to take the game to a fifth set following several errors on the Waves’ side.
This was also due in part because of a mid set run that allowed enough momentum for UCSB to bolster a 7-point lead, that they ultimately carried through to the end final result of 25-22.
Unfortunately, this rollercoaster of a match didn’t go as planned for the home side as the Gauchos just couldn’t find an answer for Pepperdine’s junior outside hitter David Wieczorek, who tallied 5 total kills and led his team to the 15-12 final set win.
UCSB were really only able to keep it close in the beginning of this set, but couldn’t get the job done; Pepperdine had won this reverse fixture by a dramatic 3-2 win.
This Friday marks the first inaugural match of the new Men’s Volleyball league sponsored under the Big West Conference.
They face UC San Diego and enter with high expectations of potentially challenging the NCAA’s No. 1, Long Beach State.