No. 3 Gauchos Win Fifth Straight Sweeping No. 9 Pepperdine 3-0

Grady Yould (Photo by Jeff Liang)
Grady Yould (Photo by Jeff Liang)

Malibu, Calif.— The No. 3 Gauchos made it three straight sweeps and five straight wins Wednesday night when they topped No. 9 Pepperdine for the second time in five days. The UC Santa Barbara men's volleyball team improved to 11-2 downing the host Waves in three straight sets of 25-20, 25-16. 25-17.

Senior outside hitter Ro McFarland was on the attack again leading all players with 12 kills on just 22 swings. Senior opposite Keenan Sanders followed just behind him with nine, and was his usual efficient self posting a potent .600 attack percentage.

UCSB dominated in every way offensively collecting more kills and a higher attack percentage as a team in each set compared to the Waves. The teams' best outing came in the second frame where it posted 15 kills on a .290 swing rate. The Gauchos also put down five total aces in the match and allowed zero from Pepperdine.

The first set was the closest contest with the Waves jumping out to a quick 3-0 lead, but the Gauchos found their way back to tie it at 10-10. From there McFarland, Sanders, and reigning Big West Athlete of the Week Randy DeWeese went on a spree mounting a 10-4 run and combing for eight kills. They would make the most of the big run closing out the first frame 25-20.

The Waves held on early in each of the final two sets, but each time the Gauchos would find their stride breaking off on a big run to capture a lead that would become insurmountable. They took both sets by eight points or more.

Senior setter Casey McGarry set his guys up all night collecting 33 assists in the quick match and DeWeese was a pleasant surprise on defense scooping up a season high 15 digs. Senior liber Grady Yould followed just behind him with 12 digs. DeWeese and Sanders both assisted on four blocks as well.