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College Volleyball

McLaughlin One Win From 100th at UCSB

The No. 9 UC Santa Barbara men's volleyball team won both of its contests on the first day of the 2016 UCSB Asics Invitational, outlasting MIVA-member Quincy in five sets before sweeping EIVA-member NJIT in the nightcap. 

The victories improved the Gauchos' record to 3-1 on the season and moved head coach Rick McLaughlin within one victory of earning his 100th win as head coach of the Gauchos. 

UCSB goes for McLaughlin’s milestone against Sacred Heart Saturday at 6:30 p.m. in Rob Gym. 

"We were a little inconsistent in the morning match, but we really cleaned it up against NJIT," said McLaughlin. "The goal with this tournament is to see some teams we wouldn't normally play and to get into a rhythm before conference play starts, and so far we're finding success."

Senior setter Jonah Seif led the Gauchos to a .317 overall hitting percentage on Friday with 80 assists in eight sets. Jacob Delson and Matt Marsh had dominant performances in the first and second matches, respectively, leading the Gauchos in kills by a large margin.

Jacob Delson put down 16 kills and chipped in four crucial points in the decisive fifth set to rescue a 3-2 win for UCSB over Quincy in the opener of the Asics Invitational, 25-20, 25-17, 21-25, 23-25, 15-10. 

With McLaughlin spreading out playing time, the four starters who played all five sets each racked up impressive statlines. Freshmen middle blockers Henri Cherry (11 kills, .588 hitting percentage) and Connor Drake (eight kills, .538) both had impressive nights on the attack, while All-American setter Jonah Seif continued his strong start to the season with a 48 assist outing.

UCSB finished up Friday with a tidy, 3-0 sweep of NJIT at Rob Gym, 25-17, 25-20, 25-17. 

As a team, the Gauchos hit a whopping .408, a high for the team in the still-young season. However, they reached that figure just three times last season. Conversely, the Highlanders hit a lowly .125 for the match. 

UCSB opposite Matt Marsh absolutely dominated NJIT from the right side, posting 16 kills on just 22 swings for a .588 hitting percentage. 

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