SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The 12th-ranked UC San Diego men's volleyball team hit just .075 as it was swept Thursday in MPSF action at No. 8 UC Santa Barbara. Scores were 25-17, 25-19 and 25-17 at Robertson Gymnasium.
UC San Diego is now 8-17 overall and 4-14 in the MPSF with the loss, while UCSB improved to 13-10 and 10-7.
The Gauchos finished with 40 kills to the Tritons' 24 and posted a strong .375 attack percentage. They also held a 29-17 advantage in digs. The two teams were quite close in several statistical categories including service aces, service errors and blocks.
UC San Diego opposite Shane Veiga posted a match-high eight kills. Freshman Nick Iorfino finished with seven kills and a team-best six digs.
For Santa Barbara, Dylan Davis, Jeff Menzel and Scott Slaughter all had seven kills each. Davis and Slaughter, both middle blockers, had a productive night on the attack as Slaughter hit .875 and Davis hit .667.
The win secured UCSB a spot in the eight-team MPSF Tournament that follows the regular season, the Gauchos' first trip to the post season tourney since 2007.
UCSD went up 2-0 to open the first set with a block and a service ace, but UCSB tied it up quickly. The Tritons went up again and held a lead until the Gauchos tied it 7-7 with a block. The teams traded the next four points to keep it tied it at 9-9. A Menzel kill put UC Santa Barbara up 10-9 and the Tritons would not lead again. Menzel had four of his kills in the set. UC San Diego hit a lackluster .034 in the first frame while Santa Barbara attacked at a .261 clip.
The Gauchos hit a blazing .579 in the second set. The Tritons also upped their hitting dramatically to .350. UCSD played from behind for the first half of the set, but kept it close. At 18-15 in favor of UCSB, the Gauchos scored two straight points to open it up a bit and the Tritons could not recover from the five-point deficit at 20-15. UCSD's Veiga and UCSB's Davis each had five kills in the second set.
The third set was all Santa Barbara as the Gauchos put down 15 kills to the Tritons' six. UCSB hit .333 and UC San Diego dipped into the negative at -.065. The Tritons kept it close early until a four-point run gave UC Santa Barbara a 15-10 advantage. Again, UCSD found itself in a hole that it couldn't get out of. Todd Travis totaled six kills for UCSB in the set.
UCSD plays at No. 5 UCLA Friday, Apr. 1 at 7 p.m. The match will be held at the John Wooden Center as Pauley Pavilion is undergoing interior renovations.
- ucsdtritons.com -