No. 14 UC Santa Barbara Blanked by No. 7 UC Irvine
Irvine, Calif. - The 14th-ranked UC Santa Barbara men's volleyball team had its three-match win streak broken Saturday as it fell 3-0 against reigning national champion UC Irvine at the Bren Events Center. Scores were 30-23, 30-25, and 30-28 in favor of the No. 7 Anteaters.
UCSB (7-8, 5-6 MPSF) got 11 kills, six digs, and a career high eight blocks from freshman opposite Jeff Menzel. However, the Gauchos hit just .134 (39-24-112) for the match.
UC Irvine (9-9, 6-7 MPSF) was paced by Jon Stellar with a match high 16 kills.
Irvine cruised to the 30-23 win in the opening game. Down 22-21 in game two, the Anteaters scored six straight points on a Cory Yoder kill, three aces, and two Gaucho attack errors to give UCI a 27-22 advantage. They never trailed again and took the 30-25 win.
UCSB led 22-18 in game three, but the Anteaters scored the next four points on the strength of Steller's serving, which included an ace, to tie the Gauchos at 22-22. Santa Barbara made a run of their own, scoring the next four to go back on top 26-22, only to watch UCI score the next four to tie it once again at 26-26. The teams traded points until a UCSB service error was followed by a Cole Reinholm kill for the 30-28 Anteater victory.
The Gauchos were dominant on the block, holding a 16.5 to 7.5 advantage.
Outside hitters Mike Fisher and Phil Mathews, as well as middle blocker Theo Brunner, all had seven kills for UCSB. Mathews had a team best nine digs, while Brunner matched a career high with eight blocks.
For UCI, setter Ryan Ammerman totaled 41 assists, three service aces, eight digs, and three blocks in the win. Libero Brent Asuka had a match high 13 digs.
Tonight's match was the first in a string of four consecutive road contests for the Gauchos. They play at UC San Diego Feb. 29 and at Long Beach State Mar. 1. The road swing ends on Mar. 5 at Cal State Northridge.
Article courtesy of UC Santa Barbara athletics.