Leaning on its depth Friday night on the road, the No. 6 UCSB men’s volleyball team got back to its winning ways with a clean sweep over Concordia, 25-23, 25-22, 25-21.
The Gauchos have now swept six of their last 11 opponents and will head into their regular season finale on Saturday with a 17-8 overall record. The Eagles are now 10-15 on the year.
Outside hitters Dayne Chalmers (.393) and Nick Amoruso (.364) led the way with 14 kills apiece, both setting career-highs with an average of 4.67 kills per set. Chalmers also went for five blocks and six digs, while Amoruso posted three blocks and seven digs.
The Gauchos ended the night with a 13-3 advantage in blocks, led by middle Dain Johnson. The sophomore got his fourth start of the year and contributed to more than half of the team’s blocks with a new personal-best of seven.
Sophomore setter Conor Dunn surpassed the 30-assist mark for the second time this year, tallying a match-high 31 to go along with five digs and four blocks.
In set one, the Gauchos used a 5-1 run capped by an Amoruso kill to go up 17-11 for its largest lead of the night.
The Gaucho offense clicked to the tune of a .500 opening set hitting percentage. That didn’t stop the Eagles from making it a game though, as they closed the gap and kills by Owen Chun made it a one-point game at 23-22 and 24-23.
Dunn set up Chalmers for the set-clinching kill as the Gauchos took the win in the closest game of the night.
Chalmers stepped up with a big six-kill set two, while freshman libero Max Gordon went off for 10 of his 12 digs.
After a 17-17 tie, UCSB went on a key 4-0 run capped by a big ace by sophomore outside hitter Sam Collins. The Gauchos went on to win it 25-22 on an Eagle attacking error.
Amoruso saved his best for last, putting up eight of his 14 kills in the third and final game while hitting at a .571 clip.
UCSB trailed by as many as four points at 10-6, but Chalmers would go for four kills and Johnson contributed four blocks to help turn the tide.
Leading 21-20, the Gauchos would score three straight points. Johnson and Collins combined for a block to make it 23-20, and two points later, Amoruso scored his final kill of the night to seal the win.
Tomorrow night, the Gauchos travel to face No. 9 UC San Diego in their final match of the regular season at 7:00 p.m. at Rimac Arena.
Michael Jorgenson writes about sports for UCSB.