Gauchos Unable to Stop Cardinal Offense

Jake Staahl (Photo by Tony Mastres)
Jake Staahl (Photo by Tony Mastres)

Palo Alto, Calif. - UCSB heads back home after a tough loss to the Cardinal, adding to the Gaucho's season low four game losing streak. Stanford swept the Gauchos in three sets (25-19, 25-17, 25-22). With a team hitting percentage of .322 and 41 total kills, Stanford dominated the court. Their successful night boosted their record to 6-2, 3-2 and dropped the Gaucho's to 3-5, 1-4.

Throughout the night, Stanford took early control. In the first set, the Cardinal bounced back from a quick 4-1 deficit and began trading points with UCSB. At 17-13, Spencer Haly's kill had the Cardinal running away with the set. Stanford authority marked the second set and they never gave up the lead. With a 21-17 lead, James Shaw served the Cardinal to victory.

Although the third set had the teams trading points, Stanford was able to hold on to a tight lead. With a small lead of 17-16, Stanford maximized their offense and took advantage of UCSB's two errors. Brian Cook and Steven Irvin put down six kills of the final eight points, ending the hopes of a Gaucho comeback.

The match had the Gauchos all over the court and scrambling to find an effective combination that could contest their opposition. 13 Gauchos found the floor, but could not stop the home team. Even with some hard swinging from UCSB, Stanford still outdug (37 to 31 digs) and outblocked (17 to 10 total blocks) the Gauchos.

Key players for the Cardinal included Haly, who ended the night with 8 kills with an impressive hitting percentage of .667. Cook picked up 11 kills and 6 digs. Setter Shaw was a major weapon, creating 34 assists and picking up 3 kills and 3 digs. 

Even with the loss, the Gauchos had strong players putting up respectable numbers. Per usual, middle blocker Dylan Davis was a central asset, pounding 6 kills and 5 blocks. Equally as impressive, Matt Marsh picked up 13 kills, 1 block, and 7 digs. Jake Staahl aced his first 2 serves of the season and also ended the match with a .500 hitting percentage in 2 kills.

While the night marks a three-match loss streak against Stanford, the Gauchos must move on and prepare for their next games. Starting Tuesday night, UCSB will have back-to-back home matches against Princeton and UC Irvine. UCSB will finish the week off with a Friday home match against UC San Diego.