- #15 UC Santa Barbara def. #11 CSUN 3-0, (25-20, 25-22, 25-21)
- UC Santa Barbara improves to 9-10, 5-9 MPSF
- CSUN falls to 12-8, 5-8 MPSF
- Hosted by UC Santa Barbara
- Match results
The #15 UC Santa Barbara men’s volleyball squad rolled through #11 CSUN in a three set sweep. With the win, the Gauchos move within half a game of CSUN for eighth place in the MPSF standings. The top eight teams in the league make the conference tournament.
Early in the first set the Gauchos trailed 9-7, but in the latter half of the set Jacob Delson helped to lead the comeback with five kills to go up 19-14. With the run to go ahead they were able to take the first set 25-20.
The second set featured eight ties and three lead changes. Late at 19-19, UC Santa Barbara capitalized on a number of CSUN errors to take the set 25-22.
In the final set, another late run by the Gauchos helped to extend their lead from 19-18 to 23-18. The lead was too much for CSUN to handle, dropping the set and match 25-21.
Leading UC Santa Barbara was Delson with 13 kills and eight digs while Corey Chavers added another nine kills and two blocks. Defensively at the net, Connor Drake blocked six balls, while setter Randy DeWeese added another five blocks.
For CSUN, Arvis Greene put down 12 kills while Joshiah Byers contributed seven kills.
Courtesy of UC Santa Barbara Athletics
Playing its first match at Rob Gym in three weeks, No. 15 UC Santa Barbara swept No. 11 CSUN on Wednesday night for a huge win to move up in the crowded MPSF standings; 25-20, 25-22, 25-21.
With the victory, the Gauchos (9-10, 5-9 MPSF) moved within a half-game of CSUN for eighth place in the MPSF standings. The top eight teams in the league make the annual conference tournament, with the winner advancing to the six-team NCAA Tournament.
UCSB would have had an extremely tough path to a postseason berth had they lost, trailing the Matadors (12-8, 5-8 MPSF) by 2.5 games in the standings with just four contests remaining in MPSF action.
“That was our best win of the season so far, without a doubt,” said UCSB head coach Rick McLaughlin. “That is a really good team over there. They were off tonight, and maybe we had something to do with that, but we’ll take it.”
The Gauchos were led on Wednesday by Jacob Delson. Though limited by an ankle injury, Delson had one of his most efficient performances of the year, recording a team-high 13 kills on .450 hitting.
The Westlake Village native was one of several UCSB players to convert to a float serve against the Matadors, and that gambit paid off as CSUN struggled with its passing and thus was rarely able to get into system. The Matadors ended the night with a subpar .162 hitting percentage, compared to UCSB’s .341 clip.
“That was definitely part of the game plan,” said McLaughlin. “They have a couple of guys who prefer to pass the jump spin, so we decided to ground a few guys and go after them with the jump float and it helped.”
Delson had five kills on as many swings in the second half of the opening set to lead a comeback for UCSB, which trailed 9-7 early. A timeout from McLaughlin turned things around, as the Gauchos responded with a 9-4 run to go up 19-14. Delson went on to end the set with a perfectly placed tip that found a gap in the middle of the court.
The middle frame was the tighest of the night, with eight ties and three lead changes. It was tied as late as 19-19, but Connor Drake (4-2-8, team-high six blocks) put UCSB up for good with a quick hit. Tough serving from Randy DeWeese (35 assists, two solo blocks, five total blocks) and Delson led CSUN to commit key errors down the stretch, allowing UCSB to reel off three straight points before Corey Chavers (nine kills) ended it with a slam-down spike from the right side.
Another late run made the difference for UCSB in the third, with back-to-back blocks from Drake (with assists from DeWeese then Chavers) kicking off a 4-0 run for the Gauchos that extended their lead from 19-18 to 23-18. CSUN made it interesting with a 3-1 run on two quick hits from middle Josiah Byers and a Jakub Ciesla ace, but Delson ended the dramatics with a tip through the block to cap the match.
The Gauchos now take a break from conference play, hosting No. 5 Lewis on Saturday night before welcoming Harvard and Concordia Irvine to Rob Gym on Monday and Wednesday, respectively.
Wednesday’s match was originally scheduled for Feb. 17, but had to be rescheduled due to severe weather causing a closure on the 101-North freeway.
Courtesy of CSUN Athletics
Looking to pick up a crucial conference road win, the 11th-ranked CSUN Matadors came up empty in a straight set (25-20, 25-22, 25-21) loss to No. 15 UC Santa Barbara Wednesday night at Rob Gym.
The Matadors (12-8, 5-8 MPSF) had trouble getting on track offensively from the outset as they hit just .130 in dropping the opening set 25-20. Then despite dropping to a .107 clip in set two, CSUN was down by just one point (21-20) late before falling 25-22. The Matadors managed to hit .261 in the final set but saw the set slip away late in a 25-21 loss.
“We’ve got to figure out a way to compete against a team that’s ranked lower than us,” said CSUN head coach Jeff Campbell. “We’ve really competed well against teams that are ranked higher than us but we’ve really struggled against teams ranked below us. Santa Barbara is a good team but it should have been more competitive tonight for sure, we just didn’t execute.”
Outside of junior middle Josiah Byers who hit .600, no other Matador starter hit better than Parker Maki‘s .222. Junior Arvis Greene had a team-high 12 kills but hit just .111 while Byers connected for seven kills on 10 swings with a single hitting error. Senior Jakub Ciesla came off the bench to chip in five kills on .429 hitting.
Ciesla also had one of two CSUN aces with Dimitar Kalchev serving the other, his 52nd of the season.
The Matadors found themselves having to overcome at least four point deficits in each and every set. Leading 9-7, CSUN surrendered a 9-4 run as the hosts opened up an insurmountable 19-14 lead.
In set two, the Matadors overcame an early 11-7 Gaucho lead and eventually pulled even at 19 on a Byers kill. But a UCSB kill followed by a setting error when Schylar Lillethorup couldn’t connect with Kalchev gave the hosts a 21-19 lead. A Gaucho hitting error pulled CSUN within one but the Matadors could get no closer.
UCSB scored the first four points of the final set and CSUN again played from behind virtually the entire set. A Ciesla kill helped the Matadors forge a 14-14 tie and CSUN was still within one at 19-18 when the Gauchos closed the match on a 6-3 run.
Jacob Delson had a match-high 13 kills to lead UCSB which improved to 9-10 overall and 5-9 in conference play.
CSUN takes a brief break in the MPSF schedule this weekend as the Matadors travel to Long Beach to meet No. 10 Loyola-Chicago and George Mason.