USC Men's Volleyball Takes Down No. 11 UC Santa Barbara For Second Win
SANTA BARBARA, Calif.--Simon Gallas had 16 kills while hitting .294 to help the USC men's volleyball team win their second match in a row with a 3-1 victory (20-25, 25-17, 25-18, 25-22) over No. 11 UC Santa Barbara on Friday (Jan. 7) in UCSB's Thunderdome in Santa Barbara, Calif.
After defeating UC Santa Barbara two days in a row, the Trojans improve to 2-0 overall on the season, while the Gauchos fall to 0-2. USC head coach Jeff Nygaard was not in attendance this afternoon due to health and safety protocols.
Sam Kobrine tallied 15 kills and hit .364, while Lucas Frassrand added 7 kills out of the middle for USC.
The Trojans displayed a staunch defense this afternoon with Brandon Browning's 11 digs tying his career-high, Cole Paxson digging 9 balls, and Gallas setting a new career best in digs at 7. Liam Schroeder was a force to be reckoned with at the net collecting four blocks, with Kobrine, Frassrand and Hall each posting 2 blocks as well.
For UC Santa Barbara, Haotian Xia collected 13 kills hitting .194, while Ryan Wilcox added 12 kills hitting .053.
As a team, USC hit. 343 compared to UC Santa Barbara's .205.
The Trojans and the Gauchos exchanged points back and forth in the first set and were tied 10 different times until UC Santa Barbara took a three-point lead at 21-18. The Gauchos maintained this lead and claimed the first set 25-20.
USC looked like a dramatically different team entering the second set as they collected the first seven points with help from two big kills from Gallas and a big block from the duo of Gallas and Schroeder. USC's confidence was apparent as the team held onto its strong lead and decisively took the second set 25-17.
The Trojans maintained their momentum from the second set and rolled it into the third. After starting off the set 8-8, USC jumped ahead 14-10. USC held onto the lead and won the third set 25-18. Trojan setter Chris Hall distributed the his sets across the net to various hitters who effectively terminated the ball hitting .579 to UC Santa Barbara's .467 in the third set.
After the Trojans went ahead 12-9 in the fourth set, the Gauchos fought back to take a 16-14 lead. In true fight on fashion, USC battled with a steady defense and smart attacking to regain the lead at 20-17. The Trojans never lost sight of the finish line and won the fourth set 25-22 to win the match.
USC's next action will bring the team back to Los Angeles for their home opener. The Trojans will host Princeton on Wednesday (Jan. 12) at 7 p.m. PT and Erskine on Friday (Jan. 14) at 10 a.m PT in the Galen Center.
For the health and safety of the community and in alignment with USC's decision to conduct the first week of Spring semester classes remotely, USC's indoor home athletics events will be closed to the general public effective immediately through the close of business on Friday, Jan. 14, 2022. Only the families and guests of team members will be permitted to attend such events, and all game day health and safety protocols remain in effect.