Tritons fall to No. 5 UC Santa Barbara
Veiga’s hot hitting not enough as UC San Diego comes up short
UC San Diego Athletics
LA JOLLA, Calif. -- For the fourth time in five matches, opposite hitter Shane Veiga led the UC San Diego men's volleyball team in kills, but it wasn't enough as the Tritons were swept by No. 5 UC Santa Barbara Friday in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation action.
UCSD, which was coming off a 3-1 upset win at No. 7 UC Irvine earlier in the week, fell to 2-3 overall and 1-1 in MPSF play with the 25-22, 25-18, 25-21 loss. The Gauchos improved to 3-1 overall and 1-0 in the league.
Veiga posted a match-high 12 kills and added seven digs, but the Tritons hit just .194 (36-18-93) while UCSB swung at a blistering .407 (41-8-81) clip. The Gauchos also out-blocked the Tritons 9-3.
Freshman middle blocker Sebastian Brady had a solid offensive night for UC San Diego, flooring seven kills with no errors on nine swings for a .778 attack percentage. Setter Phil Bannan posted 30 assists, three service aces, four digs and a solo block. Libero Chase Frishman had a team-best nine digs, while outside hitter Joel Davidson tallied seven kills, an ace and two digs.
Santa Barbara's Jeff Menzel and Cullen Irons each matched Veiga with 12 kills. Irons had a double-double with 11 digs and led all players with 14.5 points. The Gaucho middles had a huge match as Scott Slaughter swung at an .818 pace with nine kills and no errors on 11 attempts and Dylan Davis hit .583 with eight kills and one error on 12 attacks. Slaughter also had six blocks with two solos.
The Gauchos were on fire from the start, hitting .440 in the opener and .552 in the second.
In set one, the Tritons took a 5-4 lead after a Brady ace. A kill from Irons tied the score before Davidson put down a kill to give UCSD a 6-5 lead. The Tritons upped their advantage to 8-5 on back-to-back kills by Veiga and Bannan and held a slim lead until UCSB ripped six consecutive points to take a commanding 20-16 lead. UC San Diego got back within two points at 24-22, but a Menzel kill gave the set to UC Santa Barbara.
The lead never changed hands in the second set as UCSB quickly got out to a 5-1 advantage. The Tritons tied the score four times, the last coming at 12-12. The Gauchos then collected four consecutive points, two of those coming on back-to-back kills by Irons, and they never looked back.
The final set featured eight tie scores, but just two lead changes. Both teams had their lowest attack percentages of the night as UCSD hit .103 and UCSB hit .222. The set stayed tight and the Tritons took their first lead, 17-16, after three consecutive points on a Veiga kill, a Bannan ace and an attack error by the Gauchos. The teams traded the next two points, but UCSB then picked up three consecutive points on a kill from Irons, a block by Slaughter and Menzel and a Triton hitting error, putting the Gauchos up 20-18. A four-point run by UC Santa Barbara put away the set and match.