The UCSB swim and dive team traveled to Las Vegas over the weekend for a matchup against UNLV Saturday. The Gauchos recovered from an early deficit but fell just short in a tightly contested match.

UNLV won the first five events of the day to establish an early lead in the 32-event competition. Santa Barbara recovered in the second half of the day and almost came back, but ultimately the Rebels prevailed. The UCSB men finished just short with a final score of 155-143, while the women were defeated 155-145.

We put up such a good fight, we can’t be disappointed with how things went,” junior Sophia Yamauchi said. “After a tough start, we really picked it up in the second half and hung in there until the end.”

The Gauchos struggled in the relays throughout the day, winning only the men’s 400-yard freestyle relay. UCSB lost all three other relay events on the day. This comes as a disappointment after the team expressed a desire to focus on the relays.

Yamauchi was one of the most successful Gauchos on Saturday, winning the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 51.49 and the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 2:03.82.

After four early wins in a row for UNLV, senior Emma Hunt was half a second short of winning the 200-yard freestyle, which would have given UCSB their first win of the day.

Junior Lucas Norman got that distinction in the next event, winning the 200-yard freestyle by a comfortable margin (1:40.95). Norman would also win the 500-yard freestyle (4:38.64) for the men’s squad, adding his name to the list of Gauchos with multiple victories.

UCSB’s best event on the day was the women’s 100-yard breaststroke. Gauchos finished in all three top spots, with senior Paige Bradley winning with a time of 1:05.57. Carissa Metcalf and Charis Hoppe followed with times of 1:05.67 and 1:06.12, respectively. Bradley would also go on to win the 200-yard breaststroke as well, with a time of 2:22.64.

For the dive teams, sophomore Erich Brodbeck led the way, winning both the one-meter and three-meter board events with a score of 263.03 in each event.

Senior Andrew Latimer rounded out the list of Gauchos to pick up multiple victories on Saturday. Latimer won the men’s 100-yard freestyle (46.80) and led the way for UCSB’s 400-yard freestyle relay squad (3:04.17 final time).

Unfortunately for UCSB, the men’s victory in the final event of the day was too little, too late. Meanwhile, the women had a chance to pull out a comeback victory in their final event of the day but fell just short in the 400-yard freestyle relay.

The men’s team now sits at 3-2 on the season, while the women are 5-2. The women will be back in competition next weekend against UC Davis in Fresno, California while the men have a short break until they resume competition Feb. 2 against Pacific in Santa Barbara.

This article is an online exclusive and did not appear in any print edition of the Nexus.