#1 Bruins Make It Ten Straight with Four Set Win over UCSB
Feb. 10, 2012
Santa Barbara, Calif. - The top-ranked UCLA Bruins continued their winning ways as they dispatched the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos in four sets on Friday night at Robertson Gym in Santa Barbara, Calif.
UCLA improved to 12-1 overall and 7-0 in MPSF play with the win while the Gauchos dropped to 3-7 overall and 1-5 in conference play. Set scores were 25-17, 25-18, 22-25 and 25-20.
The first set saw each team trade points to begin the match before UCLA grabbed the lead at 14-11 behind back-to-back Thomas Amberg kills and a UCSB attack error. The Gauchos were forced to call timeout after that but they would get no closer in the set as the Bruins, led by the attacking play of senior Jeremy Casebeer and Amberg, went on to take the first set 25-17. UCLA still has not dropped the first set to any opponent this year.
UCLA jumped on the Gauchos to start the second set, as they took an early 8-3 lead by scoring seven straight points on UCSB. Senior Kyle Caldwell had two aces in that run of points for the Bruins while Casebeer added two kills. The Gauchos would fight back though and were able to cut the lead to 12-10. However, the Bruins would get a service error from UCSB and got a Weston Dunlap block on the next play to retake a four point advantage and stop the Gauchos' momentum. UCSB would not get any closer than four points for the rest of the set and the Bruins took a commanding 2-0 lead in the match.
The third set would be a different story for UCLA, as the Gauchos quickly took an early lead on the Bruins and extended it to six points at 17-11. The Bruins would not go quietly though, as they cut the deficit to two at 21-19 and looked to come back to seal the match in three. But UCSB would not be denied and were able to close out the set 25-22. UCLA committed eight service errors and four attack errors in the set while UCSB junior outside hitter Miles Evans recorded seven kills and two total blocks to lead the Gauchos.
UCLA fell down to UCSB early again in the fourth set but this time were able to regain the lead after sophomore Spencer Rowe hammered home two kills and Amberg served an ace to make it 7-6 Bruins. UCSB kept it close but then UCLA won five consecutive points to make it 16-11. The Bruins would not look back from there and won their 10th straight match of the season by defeating the Gauchos in four sets.
Overall, Jeremy Casebeer led the Bruins with 15 kills and 15.5 points while Weston Dunlap was right behind him with 13 kills on an outstanding .706 hitting percentage. Dunlap also added two solo blocks to give him 15 points on the night. Sophomore Gonzalo Quiroga and Thomas Amberg each had eight kills and 12 points apiece, with Amberg adding five total blocks and Quiroga serving three aces. In addition, sophomore libero Evan Mottram had a career-high 15 digs in the victory. UCLA also hit .402 in the match while holding the Gauchos to just a .152 hitting percentage. Miles Evans led UCSB with 19 kills on the night.
The Bruins will continue their road trip as they head down to Long Beach to face the Long Beach State 49ers on Tues., Feb. 14 at 7 pm.
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