No. 4 UC Santa Barbara Men's Volleyball Comes Back To Down No. 9 USC

    Tanner Jansen

    March 12, 2014

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    Evan Licht had 15 kills, 7 digs and 3 aces to help the No. 4-ranked UC Santa Barbara men's volleyball team comeback from a 2-set deficit to defeat No. 9 USC, 22-25, 23-25, 25-21, 25-23, 18-16, in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation match in Santa Barbara on Wednesday (March 12).

    UCSB, which overcame a 4-point deficit midway through the fourth set, improved to 13-5 overall and 12-5 in the MPSF. The Trojans dropped to 11-8 overall and 10-8 in the MPSF.

    The Gauchos hit .341 to USC's .293 and had 13.0 blocks to USC's 6.0. The Trojans served 9 aces to UCSB's 5.

    Tanner Jansen led the Trojans with 22 kills and 7 digs, while Lucas Yoder added 21 kills (hitting .417). Maddison McKibbin had 10 kills and 10 digs, Henry Cassiday had 11 digs and Micah Christenson had 5 aces and 10 digs.

    UCSB's other top performers were Matt Hanley with 12 kills, Ryan Thompson with 10 kills (hitting .571) and 7 blocks, Austin Kingi and Ryan Hardy with 10 kills each and Jonah Seif with 12 digs.

    USC scored back-to-back points in the first set to open a 13-11 lead and extended it to 22-15 before holding on to capture the set while hitting .320. After scoring the first 3 points of the second set, USC never surrendered the lead. UCSB overcame an 8-6 deficit in the third set by scoring 5 of the next 6 points to go up 11-9 and held the lead the rest of the way while hitting .375. USC started the fourth set with a 3-0 margin, then the Gauchos tied it at 13-13 only to see the Trojans score the next 4 points, but UCSB then went on a 5-0 run to go ahead 18-17 and, although Troy caught up at 23-23, the Gauchos pulled out the set. After trailing throughout the fifth set, including 6-2 early, USC tied it at 14-14 and then the teams traded points before a Gaucho kill followed by a USC ball handling error (when a pair of Trojans collided while trying to set) ended the contest.

    USC now goes to crosstown rival No. 7 UCLA for an 8 p.m. MPSF match on Saturday (March 15) that will be shown live on Pac-12 Networks.