Thursday, June 21 , 2018, 1:45 pm | Mostly Cloudy 68º

Sports: A Noozhawk Partnership with The Lab and American Riviera Bank
The LabAmerican Riviera Bank
College Volleyball

UCSB Scratches Out 5-Set Win over UCSD in First Big West Men’s Volleyball Match

No. 13 UC Santa Barbara and UC San Diego faced off Friday night at Rob Gym in the first-ever Big West men's volleyball league match, and the already-historic event proved itself to be one for the record books.

The Gauchos outlasted the Tritons 3-2 in a wild, back-and-forth affair, needing extra points to clinch the fifth set after allowing the visitors to come back from a 2-0 deficit. 

Set scores for the match were 25-20, 30-28, 28-30, 16-25, 20-18.

UCSB improved to 5-5, 1-0 with the victory while UCSD dropped to 8-7, 0-1. 

Led by sophomore opposite Keenan Sanders's eight kills on 10 attempts (21 kills, career-high nine digs overall), UCSB came out swinging in the first, taking it to the Tritons to the tune of a .419 hitting percentage. The Gauchos pulled away in the first thanks to a 5-1 run late, capped off by back-to-back kills from Sanders, that turned a one-point lead into a comfortable 22-17 advantage.

UCSB eked out an extremely-tight second set, with the two teams practically trading points from 15-15 on. UCSB was able to break through on its fifth game point, as Sanders's fourth kill of the frame sent sophomore setter Randy DeWeese (season highs of 53 assists and 13 digs while adding four kills on four dump attempts) to the service line.  He found a seam on the right side of the court and snuck his jump serve inside the far line for an ace to put the Gauchos up 2-0. 

Things took a sharp turn in the third set, with the visitors coming back from a 24-21. 

San Diego rode that momentum into the fourth set, hitting .333 to UCSB's .040. National kills leader Tanner Syftestad, who started off relatively cool, heated up in the fourth with five kills on nine swings.

Neither team would end up opening a lead greater than two in the deciding fifth set, setting up a dogfight down the stretch. 

UCSB nullified UCSD's match point at 14-13 with a quick hit from Drake, then kept the pressure on with five consecutive match points. While UCSD held them off for a while, the Gauchos eventually closed it out with a left-side spike from Sanders after a nice pass from Chavers helped extend the rally. Drake, who had three kills on as many swings, and Chavers, who had a team-high 3.5 points, were invaluable to the fifth set victory.

Other key contributors for UCSB included sophomore libero Grady Yould, who notched his fifth double-digit dig performance of the season while matching his career-high with 18 scoops, and redshirt sophomore Brandon Hopper, who chipped in seven kills and five blocks. 

The Gauchos will hit the road next week, traveling south for a make-up date with USC on Thursday night and a re-match with UCSD on Friday night.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Enter your email
Select your membership level

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >