In a hard- battled back and forth match, the No. 15 UCSB men’s volleyball team upset No. 11 Cal State Northridge in Rob Gym with a 3-0 sweep.
With 34 ties and 11 lead changes in the match, UCSB used late game heroics to close out the Matadors and set off on their ensuing road trip in a winning fashion.
“[This win is] very important as far as needing to do good this season, and to just be a little higher than we were in last place,” junior outside hitter Miles Evans said. “We needed to win this match to get us out of last place and make sure that we are in a good seeding for playing against Long Beach. That’s our next big goal.”
Improving to 4-7 overall (2-5 MPSF), the Gauchos moved from second-to-last in the conference to a three-way tie for eighth place, important as only the top eight teams in the conference qualify for the MPSF tournament.
“Our conference, if you look at it, there’s probably six or seven teams with two or three [conference] wins now,” Head Coach Rick McLaughlin said. “Three of those teams are going to make the playoffs, and we’ve got to be one of those teams.”
Trailing 7-8, Evans used a three-point serving streak to catapult the Gauchos to a 10-8 lead, sparking a run in which Santa Barbara never trailed in the set again. Although Northridge (4-8 overall, 2-6 MPSF) stayed close, UCSB ultimately clinched the first set 25-23 on an Evan’s kill.
The second set proved to be even more eventful, as UCSB gave up a five-point lead as Northridge surged to a 24-23 advantage, nearly tying the match at one game apiece.