The #10 UCSB men’s volleyball team’s current winning streak was brought to a halt last night, as #7 UCLA swept the Gauchos in Los Angeles.
Santa Barbara (6-7 overall, 4-5 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation) fell a quick three sets to the Bruins (7-5 overall, 2-3 MPSF) 22-30, 21-30 and 26-30 in under an hour and a half and fell a game below .500 for the third time in two weeks.
“I can’t really put my thumb on what went wrong,” freshman setter Max Klineman said. “We were all just off tonight; it was ugly. … that should never have happened.”
In just three sets, the Gauchos recorded 32 errors, while the Bruins only missed ten. Last night marked the sixth consecutive Gaucho match that was decided in only three sets.
In the first game, the Bruins held UCSB to a meager .087 hitting percentage. It was also the fourth match in a row without top scorer and All-American junior opposite Evan Patak.
Overall, senior outside hitter Jared Godinez lead Santa Barbara with nine kills and had the second best hitting percentage, hitting at .227 clip. Not far behind, junior outside hitter Bryan Berman knocked down eight putaways of his own. Klineman led UCSB with 25 assists on the night.
“I think problems were mostly on our side of the net,” Klineman said. “Their defense wasn’t that great and they did nothing to make us play that bad.”
In the third match of the night, the Gauchos ignited hopes of making a comeback against UCLA and the possibility of taking the match to four or five sets. After a 25-25 tie, Santa Barbara made five crucial errors and lost the lead on the night to fall 25-30 to the Bruins, behind a .028 hitting percentage. UCLA recorded its lowest offensive percentage of the night, hitting .216, which was still more than enough to complete the final sweep.
“We were within them by a couple of points and we couldn’t get anything going,” Klineman said. “It was like we had no energy.”
UCLA also out-blocked Santa Barbara 11.5 to six. UCLA junior outside hitter Paul George tied Godinez for the most kills on the night for the Bruins with nine of his own.
But what really put the Bruins over the top offensively was the combination of junior opposite Steve Klosterman [[ok]] and senior opposite David Russell knocking down seven kills apiece and team high .538 hitting percentages each.
The highest individual hitting clip UCSB could muster was sophomore middle blocker Theo Brunner’s.286 hitting clip, behind seven successful attacks.
The Gauchos return to Rob Gym this weekend to face #3 UC Irvine at 7 p.m. Saturday.