LOS ANGELES (Jan. 19, 2023) – The UC Santa Barbara Men's Volleyball team (1-5) headed south for the first match this Los Angeles road trip as the Gauchos faced the University of Southern California Trojans. The last time these teams played each other were in Rob Gym when the Gauchos won their first game of the season at the Asics Invitational.
Despite the result the first time these two teams played, it was the Trojans who came out with the win in this one as the Gauchos lost in five (25-21, 25-22, 25-22, 25-18, 15-12).
HOW IT HAPPENED
As it did the first time these two teams played each other, it was a tight battle all of the way through. Neither team could pull ahead by more than three points throughout the first set, with multiple score changes throughout. However, UC Santa Barbara made a big push at the end of the first set that gave them the 25-21 victory over the Trojans.
From there, USC fought back, giving the Gauchos a run for their money. In the second and third sets, the Gauchos kept it close with the Trojans with the same intensity but not with the same ending as the first set. UC Santa Barbara ended up dropping the next two sets with the same score of 25-22.
The Gauchos did not want to go home without a win. They ended up battling back while not giving the Trojans much room. With this new-found intensity, the Gauchos were able to come back and take this match to a fifth set with a score of 25-18.
The fifth set was similar to the rest of the match where two top-ranked teams were vying for the win. The Trojans were the ones to cause sides to switch with an 8-6 lead at the time. Despite the Gauchos' best efforts, they were not able to close the gap, losing 15-12 in the final set to USC.
LOOKING AT THE NUMBERS
- Ryan Wilcox as the most dominant Gaucho on offense. He finished the night with 13 kills, only making three errors along the way. Not only that, but Wilcox also had eight digs while registering three blocks.
- Dayne Chalmers earned his first double-double of the season as he tallied 11 kills to go along with 12 digs. His back row defense also carried over to the front row as he finished today with two.
- Nick Amoruso made a big impact in his two sets on the court. He finished the match with 10 kills, only making one error with a .429 hitting percentage.
- Jack Walmer continues to be the team's playmaker as their only setter. He finished the night with 43 assists. He also had 12 digs for his first double double of the season.
The Gauchos will have a very quick turnaround as they are back on the court to face the UCLA Bruins in tomorrow night's game. First serve will be at 7 p.m. with a live stream available through the Pac-12 Network.