Third-ranked UCLA captured its sixth match in a row with a straight set win over No. 8 UC Santa Barbara on Tuesday evening in Pauley Pavilion. The victory improved the Bruins record to 6-1 overall and 3-0 in MPSF Conference play. Scores of the match were 25-12, 25-22, 29-27.
UCLA did not trail in set one, jumping out to a 10-5 advantage and never looking back. Senior Robart Page totaled six kills and the Bruins ended the set on the second of two aces during the set from freshman hitter Jackson Bantle.
In set two, neither team was able to grab a big lead in the early going. Libero Ian Sequeria sparked the Bruins with a dig while crashing into the team bench to help UCLA creep to within one at 12-13.The score was tied up at points 14 thru 19 until a kill from Spencer Rowe put UCLA in front 20-19. Gonzalo Quiroga followed with another kill for a two-point cushion. UCLA took a 23-20 lead on a Gaucho error and kills from Rowe and Bantle gave the home team a 2-0 set margin.
UC Santa Barbara came out on fire in set three, taking leads of 5-10 and 7-14. UCLA closed to 14-17 after a couple of Gaucho attack errors. Back-to-back kills from Quiroga and Bantle helped UCLA move to within two at 20-22. After another UCSB attack error and a kill from Page the set was even at 22. It would then be tied at 23 thru 27 before a service error and attack error capped off the Bruin rally.
Page led UCLA with 15 kills. Quiroga added 11 kills and seven digs. Bantle recorded seven kills, three aces, nine digs and three blocks. Rowe totaled five kills, three blocks and had some key serving points in the third set. Sequeira dug nine balls.
UCLA will take a 6-1, 3-0 record into next Monday night’s MPSF battle against defending national champion UC Irvine. First serve will be at 7:00 p.m. in Pauley Pavilion. Tickets will be available at the door. The match will be televised by the Pac-12 Networks.