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Tuesday, December 18 , 2018, 11:53 pm | Fair 45º

Sports: A Noozhawk Partnership with Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table, The Lab, and American Riviera Bank
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Gauchos Grind Out 3-2 Win over Hawai’i

UCSB prevails over No. 13 Warriors behind Brunner and McGuire. Two teams square off again tonight.

Theo Brunner had a match-high 21 kills and libero Andy McGuire posted a career-high 20 digs as UCSB outlasted No. 13 Hawai’i to pick up a 3-2 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation victory Friday at Robertson Gymnasium. Scores of the two-and-a-half hour match were 29-31, 30-26, 25-30, 30-21 and 15-13.

With its second consecutive win, UCSB improved to 3-6 overall and 2-4 in the MPSF, while Hawai’i dropped to 3-5 overall and 2-3 in conference play.

Neither team hit well with UCSB finishing at .195 (74-37-190) and Hawai’i at .157 (61-32-185). The Gauchos poured it on late, however, hitting .421 (22-6-38) in game four and .368 (9-2-19) in the deciding frame. The highest the Warriors hit was .220 (14-5-41) in the third game.

Hawai’i was tough at the net, out-blocking UCSB, 24-10.5. The Gauchos countered on defense with 80 digs to the Warriors’ 65.

From the middle, Brunner hit .462 with just three errors in 39 swings. He also had six digs and five blocks. Jeff Menzel, a true freshman from San Marcos High, followed Brunner’s 21 kills with 18 of his own. Mike Runkle hit .562 with 10 kills and one error in 16 sets, while setter Max Klineman had 63 assists, six short of his career high. Klineman and Mike Fisher, a senior from Santa Barbara High, each registered 10 digs.

The Warriors got 19 kills from Jim Clar and 18 from Joshua Walker. Three players hit double-digit dig totals as former Santa Barbara High star Ric Cervantes had 16, Sean Carney posted 14 and Clar finished with 11. Steven Grgas led Hawai’i at the net with 11 blocks. Matt Rawson had eight stuffs and Clar added seven.

UCSB has won the past three match-ups against Hawai’i as it swept a two-match series in Honolulu last season. The two squads meet again at 7 p.m. Saturday at Rob Gym.

Scott Flanders is UCSB‘s associate media relations director.

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