Bruins Beat Gauchos in Four Sets
Jan. 18, 2013
Fifth-ranked UCLA returned to the victory column Friday by beating No. 8 UC Santa Barbara in four sets on the road.
The Bruins improved to 6-3 overall, 2-1 in MPSF play. The Gauchos fell to 3-3, 1-2. Set scores were 21-25, 25-17, 25-17, 25-19. The win was UCLA's second against UCSB this month.
UCSB began the match by taking an early lead and UCLA was unable to catch up. An ace by Clayton Paullin cut UCSB's advantage to 16-15 in Set 1, but the Bruins could not sustain the momentum as the Gauchos scored the next two points to take a three-point lead. UCLA's Kene Izuchukwu recorded a kill to cut the UCSB lead to 21-20, but the Gauchos again scored a pair of points to widen their cushion. The hosts eventually won Set 1, 25-21.
In the next three sets the Bruins managed to score better and keep the pressure on their opponent. A block by Paullin gave the Bruins an 11-5 lead in Set 2 and UCLA widened its margin later on in the set when another Paullin block gave them a 17-10 advantage. A kill by Izuchukwu gave the Bruins set point at 24-17, and they evened the match on a kill by junior Robart Page.
An ace by Gonzalo Quiroga gave the Bruins an early 5-2 lead in Set 3, which the visitors increased to seven points by the time Izuchukwu slammed a kill for a 21-14 lead. The Bruins eventually won the set on UCSB's service error.
In Set 4, the Bruins pulled away from an 11-11 tie when Izuchukwu recorded a kill before the Gauchos committed a pair of hitting errors. UCLA maintained its lead and Izuchukwu won the set and match with an ace.
The Bruins enjoyed one of their best hitting nights of the season, blistering the Gauchos for a .465 percentage, out-blocking them 8.5-2.0 and out-serving them 10 aces to four.
Page led the winners with 15 kills (.419) and Izuchukwu added a team-high 18.5 points on 14 kills (.600), four aces and one block assist. Quiroga recorded 12 kills and junior Evan Mottram led both teams with 14 digs.
Matt Marsh led UCSB with 16 kills.
UCLA travels to Stanford on Tues., Jan. 22 for a 7 p.m. MPSF showdown on the Pac-12 Networks.
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