No. 11 USC Men Sweep UC Santa Barbara

  0 Wendy Mayer | April 01st, 2017 | College - Men's Indoor, MPSF

Match Stats

  • No. 11 USC 3, No. 15 UC Santa Barbara 0 (27-25, 28-26, 25-21)
  • USC moves to 12-13, 6-10 MPSF; UC Santa Barbara falls to 10-14, 5-11 MPSF
  • Los Angeles
  • Attendance: 350
  • Box Score

No. 11 USC used an efficient offense to post a 3-0 sweep of No. 15 UC Santa Barbara on Friday. The Trojans hit .361 for the match, including nearly .500 in the final two sets of the 27-25, 28-26, 25-21 win.

Senior outside hitter Lucas Yoder tallied a match-high 16 kills on a .394 hitting effort and added team-best four blocks to lead the Trojan effort. Sophomore outside Gianluca Grasso tacked on eight kills and three aces, while senior middle blocker Andy Banesh added seven kills and four blocks. Sophomore libero Matt Douglas led the backcourt with eight digs.

Senior outside Jacob Delson, freshman outside Roy McFarland and freshman middle Keenan Sanders turned in 13, 11 and nine kills respectively for the Gauchos. Delson also led the team with seven digs and two aces. Redshirt sophomore middle Henri Cherry put up a team-best four blocks.

UCSB outhit USC .220 to .156 in the opening set, but could not hang on for the victory. The set was back and forth throughout as the teams tied 21 times and neither boasted more than a two-point edge. The Gauchos led 18-16, but the Trojans scored three straight to take the lead. UCSB had the first chance at the set as a Cherry kill made it 24-23. A kill and an ace by Banesh gave USC a shot at 25-24. A service error and a kill by middle blocker Ryan Moss gave the Trojans the 27-25 win.

USC took an early 4-1 lead in Set 2, but UC Santa Barbara soon boasted an 8-6 advantage of its own. A block by Grasso knotted the score at 12, setting off a string of 12 ties before the Trojans got a kill from Moss to go ahead 24-23. Delson put down three kills to stave off three USC set point efforts. A kill by Moss and a hitting error snapped the 26-26 tie to give USC the victory.

The Trojans raced out to a 13-6 lead in Set 3, thanks to seven Gauchos miscues. Down five at 18-13, UCSB mounted a comeback, cutting the margin to two at 21-19, with help from a pair of Sanders kills and a few USC errors. USC scored four of the final six, including two Grasso putaways, to cap the sweep.


Courtesy: USC Athletics

Lucas Yoder had a match-best 16 kills to lead the No. 11-ranked USC men’s volleyball team to a crucial 27-25, 28-26, 25-21 sweep over No. 15 UC Santa Barbara in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation match on Friday (March 31) in USC’s Galen Center.

The win gave the Trojans a one-game lead over the Gauchos in the race for the eighth and final berth in the upcoming MPSF tourney, with 2 regular season matches remaining for both squads.

USC improved to 12-13 overall and 6-10 in the MPSF, while UCSB dropped to 10-14 overall and 5-11 in league play.

Gianluca Grasso added 8 kills and 6 digs for USC, Andy Benesh had 7 kills (hitting .667) and 4 blocks and Matt Douglas had 8 digs.

For UCSB, Jacob Delson had 13 kills and 7 digs, Roy McFarland added 11 kills and 6 digs and Keenan Sanders had 9 kills.

USC hit .361 to UCSB’s .230.

The first set was tight throughout, with no team having more than a 2-point lead, before the Trojans won it on a Gaucho hitting error followed by a kill by Ryan Moss. It was more of the same in the second set, which was close the whole way until a Moss kill and then a UCSB hitting error ended it (USC hit .484 in the set). USC scored the first 4 points of the third set, which included a pair of aces by Grasso, and the Gauchos could not catch up as the Trojans hit .500 in the set.

USC concludes its regular season with a pair of MPSF matches next week against Cal Baptist, currently in last place in the MPSF. The Trojans host the Lancers on Thursday (April 6) in a match that will be televised live by Pac-12 Network and Pac-12 Los Angeles, then USC goes to Cal Baptist on Saturday (April 8). Both matches begin at 7 p.m. PT.

Courtesy: UC Santa Barbara

No. 15 UC Santa Barbara suffered a three-set loss to No. 11 USC on Friday night at the Galen Center in the team’s final road contest of the year, 27-25, 28-26, 25-21.

Entering the night in a tie with the Trojans (12-13, 6-10 MPSF) for the eighth and final spot in the MPSF Tournament, UCSB’s playoff hopes took a big hit with the loss. The Gauchos (10-14, 5-11) will need to win both of its matches next week against BYU while they need USC to drop its two remaining matches, both against Cal Baptist.

Senior outside hitter Jacob Delson once again led the team in kills on Friday night, notching 13 on 29 swings. Freshman outside Roy McFarland finished just behind him with 11, while freshman middle blocker Keenan Sanders added nine kills. Setter Casey McGarry had a productive night quarterbacking the offense, totaling 40 assists in just three sets.

Four different Gaucho hitters had at least three kills in a first set that was extraordinarily tight, with the two teams producing 22 ties and eight lead changes. UCSB never led by more than two points in the game, while USC’s biggest advantage was just three points. The Gauchos were the first team to reach set point at 24-23, but a kill and ace from Andy Benesh swung momentum back in the Trojans’ favor. After trading points, middle blocker Ryan Moss chipped in one of his five kills to clinch it for USC.

The second set was just as tight as the first, with the two teams tangling into a deadlock at each point from 12-12 to 26-26. Unfortunately for UCSB, it was the Trojans who were able to stop the back-and-forth first, clinching the set on a Gaucho attack error.

The Trojans had all the momentum to start the third, jumping out to a 10-5 lead. UCSB would eventually get it as close as 23-21 on a Delson ace, but the Trojans answered back with two quick points to wrap up the match.

With 16 kills, Lucas Yoder was by far USC’s most productive hitter, putting down twice as many kills as any of his teammates. The Trojans hit a solid .361 in the match compared to UCSB’s .230 clip.

The Gauchos wrap up their regular season schedule with a pair of home matches against BYU, first on Thursday at 7:00 p.m. in Rob Gym and then Friday at 5:00 p.m. in the Thunderdome.


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About Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer has worked in athletics media relations for the last 20 years. The Northwest Missouri State alumna is currently senior writer for after spending the last 15 years with Purdue athletics.

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