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UCSB’s Skid Continues at Northridge

Matadors claim 3-1 win, serving Gauchos their fourth loss in a row.

No. 13 UCSB lost its fourth-straight volleyball match Wednesday as third-ranked Cal State Northridge, playing at home, handed the Gauchos a 3-1 defeat. Northridge, which had four players with 10 or more kills, has won its last nine matches.

CSUN (15-4 overall, 11-3 in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation play) won the opening game, 30-25. UCSB (7-11, 5-9 MPSF) came back to take the second game by the same score, but the Matadors hit almost .600 over games three and four to take 30-17 and 30-23 wins.

The Matadors held advantages in almost every statistical category, including kills (71-51), attack percentage (.340-.286), service aces (11-1), and digs (47-37). The Gauchos out-blocked Northridge, 12-9.

UCSB was led by middle blocker Theo Brunner, who registered 14 kills and hit .650. Jeff Menzel, a freshman opposite from San Marcos High, had 13 kills, while middle Matt Thobe set new career highs with six kills, seven blocks and 9.5 points. Libero Ben Brockman totaled 13 digs.

For CSUN, outside hitter Isaac Kneubuhl led all players with 22 kills, matching his career high. Outside Eric Vance got his third double-double of the season with 19 kills and 10 digs. Middle blocker Cody Loe had 14 kills and outside hitter Mike Gaudino added 11. All four hit over .300, with Kneubuhl and Gaudino coming in over .400.

Gaudino and Vance were hot at the service line as well, posting four aces each. Ali’i Keohohou had a match-best 14 digs.

Click here for the official box score and play-by-play.

Northridge has defeated UCSB three times this season, but the Gauchos own a 42-30 lead in the all-time series.

Wednesday’s match was the final of four consecutive road contests for UCSB. The Gauchos host USC on March 12 and Pepperdine on March 15. Both matches have 7 p.m. starts at Robertson Gymnasium.

Scott Flanders is UCSB‘s associate media relations director.

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