No. 8 Gauchos Can't Overcome No. 7 UCLA's Block, Lose 23-30, 24-30, 32-34
April 12, 2006
Santa Barbara, Calif. - The No. 7 UCLA men's volleyball team (19-12 overall, 11-10 MPSF) quickly put away No. 8 UC Santa Barbara (13-14, 9-12) Wednesday night at Robertson Gym, spoiling senior night for the Gauchos by virtue of a 30-23, 30-24, 34-32 sweep.
Steve Klosterman led the charge for the Bruins, landing 12 kills, followed by Damien Scott who finished with ten. Santa Barbara native Nick Scheftic recorded nine kills on 14 swings and added four block solos and two block assists.
On a night in which seniors Dane Jensen and Jared Godinez were honored, the Gauchos struggled to find leadership. Junior outside hitter Aaron Richman came through on 15 kills but had eight errors while junior outside hitter Bryan Berman had 11 kills on 28 attempts, but finished with seven errors. Godinez finished with four kills on the night while Jensen recorded 22 assists.
The Bruin block asserted itself early and often, finishing with nine kills on the night to the Gauchos' five. Klosterman followed Scheftic's lead, assisting on one block and single-handedly dished out two.
After jumping out to a 1-0 game lead, the Bruins continued to hold the edge in the second game. The Bruins broke an 8-8 tie by going on 7-2 run in which the Gauchos erred four times on the attack. UCSB brought it back to within three at 15-12 after a George Paul service error, but the Gauchos would watch their deficit increase to seven points at 23-16 after an erroneous set by Jensen. From there, the Bruins would cruise to a 30-24 victory.
The third and final game appeared to be in the Gauchos' control as they jumped out to a 12-9 lead, punctuated by a kill from sophomore middle blocker Theo Brunner. The Bruins reclaimed the lead, however, at 17-16 and pushed it to 20-17 after a kill by Scheftic. A 4-1 Gaucho run knotted the score at 21-21, and from there, the two teams exchanged blows until it was tied at 28-28. A put-away by Richman put the game in the hands of the Gauchos, but a kill by UCLA's David Russel tied it again at 29-29. At 32-32, Richman and Berman erred on back-to-back attacks to give the Bruins the game and the match.
The Gauchos return to the hardwood this Saturday when they travel to top-ranked UC Irvine for their regular season finale at 7:00 p.m.