No. 8 Gauchos Drop Regular Season Finale at Top-Ranked UC Irvine 30-25, 30-22, 30-25

April 16, 2006

Box Score

Irvine, Calif. - No. 8 UC Santa Barbara (13-15 overall, 9-13 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation) dropped its third consecutive match, a 3-0 loss to No. 1 UC Irvine (27-3, 20-2) in its regular season finale.

The Anteaters' 20-2 MPSF record is good for first place and secures the top seed in the MPSF Tournament. Meanwhile, the Gauchos remain in eighth place in the conference and will travel to No. 7 UCLA Wednesday to decide who will be the tournament's No 7 seed and play No. 2 Hawaii in the MPSF Quarterfinals.

Juniors Matt Webber and Jayson Jablonsky led UCI with 14 kills each. Jablonsky added four blocks, while Webber recorded three. Middle blocker Aaron Harrell hit .500, recording 10 kills on 16 attempts and two errors. Harrell led all players with seven blocks assists. Senior Paul Spittle totaled seven kills, an ace and four digs in the win. Freshman libero Brent Asuka led all players with 12 digs, while setter Brian Thornton tallied 46 assists and five digs.

The Anteaters hit .430 to UCSB's .260 and out-blocked the Gauchos 11-5.

UCSB was led by David Kennedy and Theo Brunner who had 12 kills apiece followed by Bryan Berman with 11 kills. Max Klineman had 43 assists and seven digs, while Ben Brockman topped the Gauchos with 10 digs.

With the score tied 10-10 in game one, a Brian Thornton ace started a 4-1 run to give the Anteaters a 14-11 lead. UCSB could get no closer than two the rest of the way as Jablonsky knocked down the game-winner for UCI 30-25.

UCI jumped out to a quick 5-1 lead in game two and went on to a 30-22 victory. Harrell had four kills and four blocks to lead UCI in the set. UCSB hit just .158 (15-9-38) for the game.

The Anteaters ended the match in high style, hitting .562 with 20 kills on 32 swings and just two errors. Webber had six kills as UCI won the game 30-25.