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Brunner Eclipses 1,000 Career Kill Mark

Gauchos take match, 3-1, for third-straight win over Pacific.

No. 13 UCSB defeated Pacific, 3-1, on Saturday in Stockton, the Gauchos’ third-straight victory over the Tigers. UCSB senior middle blocker Theo Brunner had 18 kills, putting him over 1,000 for his career.

UCSB (5-7 overall, 4-5 in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation play) dropped the first set, 30-28, but won the next three by scores of 30-26, 31-29 and 30-22. Pacific fell to 1-11 overall and 1-8 in league matches.

The Gauchos used a well-balanced attack throughout all four games and finished with a .368 (66-16-136) team attack percentage. In the second frame, UCSB posted a .469 (18-3-32) clip. Overall, Pacific hit. 294 (72-27-153).

Game three was the set of the match with 10 tie scores and seven lead changes. With the Tigers up 29-28, UCSB took a timeout and returned to reel off three-straight points on two Pacific errors — one from the service line and one on the attack — and a game-ending kill by senior outside Mike Fisher, a former Santa Barbara High star.

Brunner hit .533 (18-2-30) and matched a career high with eight blocks. His 18 kills gave him 1,004 for his career, making him just the ninth Gaucho in school history to surpass the mark.

Brunner didn’t provide the only highlights for the Gauchos. Freshman opposite Jeff Menzel, a former San Marcos High star, matched him with 18 kills and Fisher posted a season high 11 kills. Junior outside Mike Runkle had a career-high 11 digs to go along with 10 kills. Junior Max Klineman and freshman Vince Devany split setting duties and had 36 and 23 assists, respectively.

Pacific’s Pekka Seppanen had a career-high 33 kills. Clay Ostrander followed with 12. Setter Tyler D’Egidio had 61 assists and Mark Bauhs had 11 digs.

UCSB held an 8-3 advantage in service aces and out-blocked Pacific 8.5 to 5.

UCSB is 3-0 against Pacific this season with a 3-0 win on Jan. 26 in an MPSF match and a 3-1 victory on Jan. 5 in tournament play. Both matches were in Santa Barbara.

The Gauchos will take a break from league action to host UC Santa Cruz at 7 p.m. Friday. The annual alumni match will take place at 5 p.m. Feb. 16.

Scott Flanders is UCSB‘s associate media relations director.

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