No. 15 Pacific Upsets No. 6 Gauchos, 3-2
April 7, 2011
Taylor Hughes had 26 kills and hit .396 as the 15th-ranked Pacific men's volleyball team upset sixth-ranked UC Santa Barbara on Thursday night, 3-2. The game scores were 20-25, 25-23, 25-23, 14-25 and 15-13.
Hughes had more than half of his team's kills as the Tigers (11-17 overall, 5-15 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation) handed the Gauchos (13-12, 10-9) their second straight loss.
UCSB jumped out to a 1-0 lead as it won the first set 25-20 despite hitting .188. Pacific hit .000 in the first frame.
The Tigers won tightly contested second and third sets by scores of 25-23 in each. In the second set, the Gauchos were up 23-21 before Pacific rattled off four consecutive points, the last three on UCSB attack errors. The third set was tied at 21 apiece before the Tigers used a 4-2 run to end it. The final point came on a cross-court kill by Florian Gornik.
The fourth set was tied at 4-4 before the Gauchos went on a 6-0 run that was capped by a kill from Slaughter to give his team a 10-4 lead. Pacific never got closer than four the rest of the way and UCSB's Cullen Irons, who seemed to spark the team in the set, ended things when he pounded home the game-winner to give his team the 25-14 win.
The Gauchos jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the final set, but a 5-1 run by the Tigers put them up 5-3. UCSB would tie the score at 5-5 and 7-7, but Pacific snapped the 7-7 tie on consecutive attack errors by Santa Barbara and the set was never tied again.
Behind 14-11, the Gauchos used a Menzel kill and then an attack error by Hughes to narrow the gap to 14-13 but they couldn't get all the way up the mountain as Hughes pounded Patrick Tunnell's set right in the middle of the court for the final point of the night, giving Pacific the win.
With three matches remaining, UCSB is guaranteed a spot in the MPSF Tournament but the seeding is still up in the air. The loss to Pacific, which is out of contention for a tournament berth, makes it tougher for the Gauchos to earn a first round home contest.
UCSB will try to get back on track when it hosts Stanford on Friday night at 7:00 p.m. in Robertson Gymnasium. A victory over the Cardinal would keep the Gauchos hopes of hosting alive.
Prior to the match against Stanford, eight UCSB seniors will be introduced to the crowd as they participate in their final regular season home match. To purchase tickets, please call (805) 893-UCSB, visit the Ticket Office located inside the Intercollegiate Athletics building on campus or buy online and print at home by clicking here.