Santa Barbara, Calif.— The No. 3 Gauchos (10-2) made quick work of visiting No. 6 Pepperdine (6-4) Friday night in the first meeting of back-to-back matchups with the Waves. The two teams faced off first in Robertson Gym with UC Santa Barbara sweeping the visitors 25-19, 25-21, 25-23
Senior outside hitter Randy DeWeese led the way with 13 kills on a potent .435 hitting percentage and added five digs and a block assist. Keenan Sanders (12) and Roy McFarland (10) joined him in double-digits as well.
The Gaucho offense shined in the match as they out-hit the waves .417 to .181, and posted 49 kills compared to Pepperdine's 27. Their efficiency truly showed in the first set when the team jumped out to an early lead that eventually stretched to as much as eight points thanks to a .538 hitting line behind four kills and an ace from McFarland.
The second set was a tight race throughout despite UCSB taking a 3-0 lead to start. Pepperdine took a lead midway through but it did not hold with the Gauchos earning another 15 kills while holding the Waves to a dismal .036 hitting percentage. Tied at 21-21, they earned the final four points of the set to claim a 2-0 lead in the match.
Pepperdine showed up in the third with its back against the wall holding a late lead at 20-18, but the host Gauchos were absolutely determined to play the minimum sets. Sanders and DeWeesse combined for 11 kills and DeWeese posted an impressive .571 kill percentage to help Santa Barbara take seven of the final 10 points and earn the sweep.
UCSB is back at it in Malibu, Calif. edition of this home-and-home series next Wednesday night.