A quick sweeping of CSUN gave No. 5 UCSB men’s volleyball its eighth straight victory and third straight sweep Thursday night as the Gauchos defeated the Matadors in three sets 25-18, 25-17, 25-17.
Junior hitter Ryan Wilcox once again led the way as the sole player in double figures notching 15 kills and added a team-high six digs, three aces, and converted all 10 serve receptions.
Sophomore setter Patrick Paragas dished out 31 assists, had a team-high six digs and led all players with four aces.
UCSB outhit CSUN .429 to .282 and converted on 77% of its sideout opportunities.
First Set (UCSB 25-18)
Both teams traded punches in the early points, but a 4-0 run by the Gauchos gave the home team a lead it would not lose as UCSB kept at least a two-point lead over CSUN for the rest of the set.
A 5-1 run saw the Gauchos grow their lead to 21-15 thanks to back-to-back kills by Wilcox and the largest lead of the set came on the final point as Brandon Hicks sent down a kill to seal it at 25-18.
Wilcox went 5-for-5 on the attack in the set and UCSB hit a match-high .550 as a team converting on 16-of-19 (84%) of its sideout opportunities.
Second Set (UCSB 25-17)
It was another tight start for the Gauchos in the second frame, as the Matadors came out swinging and clawed their way to an early 6-4 lead.
The Gauchos then answered with a run of their own, forcing CSUN into a time out at the 12-8 mark. CSUN was hungry to get back in it but The Gauchos posted a 6-0 run to go up 15-8 and draw the final timeout of the set for the Matadors.
The rally continued as the Gauchos went up 19-13, solidifying their momentum going into the end of the set that was punctuated by back-to-back aces from Paragas.
Third Set (UCSB 25-17)
The Gauchos came hungry to put away the third set, but CSUN wasn’t giving up easily, keeping both teams within a 1 point differential up to 8-7.
The game remained tight until UCSB went up 16-14 with a kill by Hicks that sparked a 3-0 for the Gauchos that triggered a CSUN timeout at 18-14.
UCSB would close on a 5-0 run with Wilcox at the service line, utilizing one of his three aces to end the match.
The Gauchos out-hit the Matadors .481 to .200 in the final frame.
It’s now the Gauchos’ turn to take a trip down to the Matadome in Northridge, Calif. to face CSUN again tomorrow. First serve is set for 7 PM.
Daniel Moebus-Bowles writes about sports for UCSB.