No. 7 USC Men’s Volleyball Sweeps No. 8 UC Santa Barbara
LOS ANGELES—Simon Gallas had 16 kills while hitting .306 to help the No. 7 ranked USC men's volleyball team defeat No. 8 UC Santa Barbara 3-0 (25-20, 25-22, 25-23) at the Galen Center on Wednesday (Feb. 9).
USC improves to 9-2 on the 2022 season, while the Gauchos dropped to 5-4 overall.
Outside hitter Sam Kobrine tallied 12 kills (.175), 6 digs, 2 assists and 1 block. In addition to Gallas' 18 kills, he decorated his stat sheet with 7 digs and 4 blocks.
Middle blocker Lucas Frassrand had 5 kills (.300), 2 blocks and 1 dig. Setter Chris Hall recorded 31 assists, 10 digs, 3 blocks and 3 aces. Cole Paxson was a force to be reckoned with defensively tallying 17 digs, a season-high number.
For the Gauchos, Nick Amoruso collected 8 kills hitting .160, while Gheste Bianchi added 7 kills hitting .438.
As a team, USC hit .191 compared to UC Santa Barbara's .171.
After USC took an early 8-4 lead, the Gauchos demonstrated that they came to play by scoring 5-points in a row to jump ahead 9-8. The two teams exchanged points back and forth throughout the set. Defensively, libero Cole Paxson made some outstanding digs for the Trojans to extend rallies and set up the offense. USC took a 21-18 lead and with a tool from Sam Kobrine, the Trojans took the first set 25-20.
The Gauchos came back in the second set to sprint to a 7-3 lead. The Trojans regrouped and adjusted to reclaim the lead and won 17 of the next 24 points to make it a 20-14 score. Although UC Santa Barbara attempted to fight their way back into the set, the Trojans won 25-22.
The third set remained neck and neck until the Trojans made a final push inside 20 points. Kills from Gallas, Kobrine and Adam Flood helped the Trojans win the set 25-23 and take the match.
Up next, USC returns to the Galen Center Thursday night (Feb. 10) to challenge Cal State Northridge at 7 p.m. PT.