Gauchos' Head South For Last Away Match of the Regular Season
• Successful Spring Break for the Gauchos
UCSB powered through the last five games, recording sweeps in three of them. The last win over Hawai'i marks the seventh straight win for the Gauchos, boosting them to the No. 7 spot in the MPSF. Over Spring Break, the Gauchos dominated Concordia at home. Jake Staahl, Jonah Seif, and Dylan Davis each racked up five blocking assists. UCSB then traveled to Hawai'i, winning both matches. In the first match, Miles Evans led the team with 14 kills. Austin Kingi was a major force from behind the serving line, picking up a career-high four serving aces. The next night, Evan Licht matched his career-high with 18 kills. Undoubtedly, the Gauchos are burning up the competition and fighting for one of the last playoff spots.
• Going out with a Bang
Senior Dylan Davis is nearing the end of his UCSB career, but definitely leaving everything he has on the court. With the extra motivation, Davis exploded during his last match in Rob Gym against Cal State Northridge, hitting at .867 clip. If that wasn't impressive enough, his .467 hitting percentage ranks him first in the country. Moreover, Davis has racked up countless blocks at the net, 28 in the last five matches. Currently, Davis is ranked third in the country for blocks per set. He averages 1.41 blocks per set, just under the national leader Matt Leske from Ball State with 1.44. Davis' high level of play will be a major weapon for UCSB in its final season games.
• Longest Gaucho Winning Streak Since 1996
With the last two wins against Hawai'i, the Gauchos extend their winning streak to seven. This is the longest winning streak the program has had since 1996, when UCSB won nine straight from 3/13 until 4/26. The Gauchos have a chance to match this record if they can top Cal Baptist and BYU this week.
• Need Any Assistance?
Freshman Jonah Seif 's jaw dropping first season includes a national ranking. Currently, Seif ranks ninth for assists per set, averaging 10.59. Additionally, he sits in the number five spot for assists per set in the MPSF. This year, he has totaled 879 assists. Seif has had five games with at least 50 assists and is the only player in the MPSF to have a triple double this season (54 assists, 10 digs, 11 total blocks on1/25/13).
• Digging Deep
Libero Chad Kingi ranks eleventh nationally and third in the MPSF for digs per set with 2.52. Kingi recorded a career-high 16 digs against Cal State Northridge (3/13). His 11 digs against Concordia marks the twelfth time he has reached double digit digs this season. Kingi is the clear leader for digs for the Gauchos, picking up 234 this season.
• Season Best
The Gauchos are on a roll right now and looking to move into the playoffs. UCSB ranks seventh, which is the highest ranking of the season for the Gauchos. UCSB started the season strong, making it to the No. 8 spot in the second week. However, the team experienced a lull in the season where they went unranked for a short period of time. Since then, the Gauchos have rallied back and are now at their personal best in the poll. With only the top eight teams continuing in the playoffs, the Gauchos need to continue their high level of play to maintain their position. UCSB has not secured its playoff spot and must finish the season strong.
• Licht it Up
Evan Licht continues to proves his strength in all facets of the game. Against Cal State Northridge, Licht picked up a career-high 12 digs and three serving aces. In the last game against Hawai'i, Licht matched his career-high 18 kills for the the third time this season. He has recorded double digit kills in the last eight of his ten games. Undeniably, Licht is a vital part of the Gaucho offense and led the team in kills in four of the last five games.