The UC Santa Barbara men’s volleyball team took on the No. 5 Pepperdine University Waves in the Robertson Gymnasium on Feb. 3. Though they were coming off a losing streak, the Gauchos came out victorious after being down 2-1 in sets.
The Gauchos struck first as senior outside hitter Ryan Wilcox hit a kill from redshirt sophomore setter Jack Walmer. The Gauchos continued the run, scoring 4 straight points before the Waves got on the board.
However, Pepperdine did not let that faze them, tying the score at 10-10 and then proceeding to take the lead.
The Gauchos reclaimed the lead at 20-19 after a service error from the Waves, but Pepperdine stole the first-set victory at 21-25.
The Gauchos struck first again in the second set. Redshirt junior outside hitter Dayne Chalmers and Wilcox commanded the outside, letting the center control the tempo, resulting in a second-set victory for the Gauchos of 25-21.
For the third set, Wilcox struck first again with a kill from Walmer. Pepperdine went point-to-point with the Gauchos as the game was tied 10-10 halfway through. However, the Waves went on a run and took the third set with a score of 16-25.
UCSB felt the pressure as Pepperdine needed one more set to secure the victory, but the Gauchos dominated the fourth set, at one point being up 17-7.
After a few more points, the Gauchos took the fourth set with 25-11. In the set, redshirt freshman outside hitter and opposite Owen Birg registered 5 kills. The Gauchos took the fourth set and forced a decisive fifth set.
In the last set, the Waves struck first, but the Gauchos maintained the pace. UCSB took the lead after a kill from Chalmers, setting the score at 10-9 in favor of the Gauchos.
After the Gauchos took the lead, they did not look back and continued to maintain their dominance. The Gauchos took the fifth set at 15-12 and won the match 3-2.
Chalmers had a career night offensively with 17 kills in 25 attempts with no errors. The kills brought his hitting percentage to .680, the highest it’s ever been in Chalmers’ career.
The Gauchos will head on the road to take on Brigham Young University, as they will play two games against them on Feb. 10 and 11. Both games will be streamed on BYU TV at 6 p.m. PST.