No. 3 UC Santa Barbara men’s volleyball made it eight straight Friday night downing No. 6 UC San Diego 3-1 to open Big West play at Rob Gym.
The early points favored the visiting Tritons, but the Gauchos found their rhythm late in the second set to take it 22-25, 25-23, 25-21, 25-16.
Randy DeWeese notched double digit kills for the third straight time collecting a match-high 15 to go with seven digs and five block assists. He was once again efficient on the attack, posting a .324 hitting percentgae (15-3-37).
UCSD rode an incredibly hot start to a first-set victory out-hitting the Gauchos .409-.167 and capitalizing on a handful of service errors by UCSB. Despite the Gauchos pulling off a comeback to tie the set half way through, the Tritons held on to take their only set of the contest.
The second set favored UCSD early, with the visitors taking a 12-8 lead, But the host Gauchos were poised to protect their undefeated home record, storming back to take a 21-19 advantage with a huge 13-3 run. A kill by senior Roy McFarland sealed the deal and tied the match at 1-1.
San Diego went on 10-4 run to open up the third set, but a 10-2 run by the UCSB saw the team take a 14-12 advantage. DeWeese and sophomore Brandon Hicks found three straight kills late in the contest to give Santa Barbara a 2-1 advantage.
In the fourth set, the Gauchos erupted for 13 kills on .357 hitting compared to the Tritons’ -.040 mark.
Senior setter Casey McGarry handed out 36 assists, had six digs, and three block assists. Senior libero Grady Yould paced the defense with eight digs.
As a team, Santa Barbara outhit San Diego .310-.144 and turned in an impressive 13 total blocks compared to the Tritons’ 10.5.