The No. 3 UCSB men’s volleyball team came into its matchup against No. 6 Pepperdine fired up.
The Gauchos had not played in front of their home crowd since Jan. 18 and will again be on the road until March 3, but they gave their fans something to cheer about Friday night in their only home game in February, sweeping the Waves by set scores of 25-19, 25-21, 25-23.
With the win, UCSB has now won three straight since back-to-back losses at No. 2 BYU and improves to 9-2 overall.
“I don’t know if I would call it a bounce back,” said senior outside hitter Randy DeWeese. “We fought really hard there, we played really well there and it just didn’t turn out in our favor. We know we can beat the teams that were playing. Our mindsets have always been like we’re a top team and we got to keep coming out as the top team.”
UCSB was in control for the majority of the match and despite not playing some of its best volleyball this season, the team still managed to outhit Pepperdine .417 to .181.
DeWeese led all hitters with 13 kills on a very efficient .435 hitting clip while his teammate Keenan Sanders contributed 12 kills on just 16 total attacks.
Senior outside hitter Roy McFarland rounded out the Gauchos with double-digit kills on Friday with 10 to go along with one service ace.
“We know that we’re not perfect team, but we know that we are good enough to hang with everyone but our offense, Casey was running a really fast, perfect offense, breaking them down. It really helped us out getting in a rhythm passing and then everyone else was hitting well,” DeWeese said.
DeWeese had even more praise for his senior setter Casey McGarry, who finished with 40 assists, his fourth time this season dishing out at least 40.
“It’s still a little awkward for me (as I am transitioning to a hitter) but Casey such a good setter, he gets me in such good situations all the time. I can just find my way into a good spot,” DeWeese said.
The Gauchos did not trail often during the match, with it’s worst deficit coming in the third set trailing 20-18. Out of a timeout, UCSB tallied three straight to take the lead and eventually win the match from there.
The one area the Gauchos did struggle in was serving. UCSB had 19 service errors, a problem the team hopes to fix as its 32 service errors at BYU cost them an opportunity to leave the gym with a win.
“A lot of us had a consensus that we want to come in here and focus on that because the rest of our game is very solid … but we can definitely take those 18 service errors to about 10 or 11 and try to get better each time,” DeWeese said.