No. 8 UC Santa Barbara Men's Volleyball Sweeps No. 3 USC|
Feb. 18, 2015
Weston Nielsen and Kevin Donohue each had 12 kills to lead the No. 8 UC Santa Barbara men's volleyball team to a 25-19, 25-17, 25-22 upset sweep over No. 3 USC in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation match in Santa Barbara on Wednesday (Feb. 18).
UC Santa Barbara improved to 9-5 overall and 5-5 in the MPSF while posting its first sweep over the Trojans since 2008. USC, which dropped its second straight match of 2015 and third in the past 5 contests after starting the season at 7-0 for its best start since 1991, is now 9-3 overall and 8-3 in the MPSF.
Robert Feathers had 9 kills while hitting .500 to lead USC. He and Andy Benesh, who had 6 kills while hitting .385, were the only Trojan attackers to hit above .000. Christopher Orenic added 6 kills and 6 digs, while Brooks Varni had 7 digs.
For UCSB, Ryan Hardy had 5 blocks, Jonah Seif had 4 blocks, Hayden Boehle had 10 digs and Jacob Delson had 8 digs.
UCSB hit .262 in the match to USC's .070 (the Trojans' lowest in a match since 2012) and the Gauchos had more blocks than Troy, 9.0 to 4.0.
UC Santa Barbara used a 4-0 run in the first set to go up 8-6 and steadily pulled away while serving 4 aces and hitting .367. In the second set, UCSB scored 4 out of 5 points to build a 7-4 lead and again slowly increased the lead. The Gauchos climbed back from a 7-3 deficit in the third set behind a 5-0 run to go up 8-7, but USC regained control and went ahead 22-19 before UCSB scored the match's final 6 points.
USC next goes to No. 11 UCLA on Sunday (Feb. 22) at 7:30 p.m. for an MPSF match that will be shown live nationally on Pac-12 Networks. On the line will be points in the Crosstown Cup, the all-sports competition between the crosstown rivals.