UCSB Rolls Over USC in Three

Jacob Delson (Photo by Tony Mastres)
Jacob Delson (Photo by Tony Mastres)

Santa Barbara, Calif. - Coming back from a tough loss last Friday night at Stanford, No. 10 Santa Barbara found their rhythm again with a sweep against USC on Wednesday night at Rob Gym, 25-19, 25-19, 25-21.  The win improved the Gauchos to 12-6 on the year and 8-5 in conference play while USC dropped to 3-12 overall and 3-10 in conference.

Junior outside hitter Jacob Delson had an outstanding night for the Gauchos as he racked up 18 kills and seven digs in just a three set match while hitting at a .500 clip.   

"Our mentality for the match was to regroup from the Stanford loss," said Delson.  "It was a pretty bad loss, so we just wanted to come out and have a quick win tonight."

Both teams started the match out strong as they went back and forth in the first set fighting to limit the opposing team's serving runs.  However, two consecutive kills by Delson followed by an ace by senior setter Jonah Seif allowed the Gauchos to take control of the game and force a USC timeout at 11-7. 

While sophomore opposite hitter Jon Rivera attempted to hold his team together with five kills in the first set, it wasn't enough for the Trojans.  Austin Kingi put away two sets to make it game point and a USC service error gave the Gauchos the win at 25-19. 

Junior outside hitter Christopher Orenic (seven kills) and USC setter Gert Lisha (11 assists) entered the game for the Trojans in set three, but the line-up change didn't phase the Gauchos and Delson continued his hot streak in the second set with nine kills to lead the Gauchos to another 25-19 win. 

Set three highlighted junior libero Parker Boehle's defensive efforts.  Finishing the match with 11 digs, Boehle led the Gaucho defense and was the glue to the long rallies that occurred in the final set.  Tied at 15-15, a service run by Kingi, which included an ace, gave the Gauchos a three-point cushion and at 24-21, Sophomore Bobby Curtis said goodnight with the game-winning kill. 

With this sweep under their belts, the Gauchos hope to turn this into a winning streak as they face No. 15 Cal Baptist on Friday night at 7:00 p.m. in Rob Gym.