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Gauchos lose in 4 at Long Beach State

UCSB volleyball lose in 4

LONG BEACH, Calif. - The No. 19 UC Santa Barbara Men's Volleyball team (7-11) continued with Big West play as they took on No. 2 Long Beach State in the first of two matches this weekend. Despite UC Santa Barbara's hot start, it was the Beach who came out with the win as the Gauchos dropped this match in four sets with scores of 25-22, 21-25, 20-25 and 20-25.

"I thought we played well at times and competed well all night. If we can serve a little better late in games, we'd have a better shot to close the game out. LBSU has a ton of talent. I expect both teams to play better tomorrow."

The Gauchos came out strong in this first set, not letting the Beach pull away. These two teams exchanged the lead three times before someone could take control. With the help of Geste Bianchi's nine kills and Jack Walmer's late service run, the team to come out on top was the Gauchos. UC Santa Barbara's five-point lead gave them enough room to hold off the Beach's late push as the Gauchos took the first set 25-22.

UC Santa Barbara carried that same energy into the second set, taking an early three-point lead. However, the Beach rallied back quickly, tying the match at 10-10. Both teams vied for the lead for several points before Long Beach State went on a service run that gave them a slight lead. From there, they didn't let go of it. This resulted in the Beach taking this second set with a score of 25-21.

The third set started as an even battle between these two teams as neither team could pull ahead by more than a point until the Gauchos snuck ahead by three. However, that lead was short-lived as the Beach kicked it into a new gear, going on a six-point service run. Even though UC Santa Barbara tried to rally, they couldn't regain control as they dropped the third set 20-25.

The fourth set told a very different story from the rest of the match. From the very first serve, the set belonged to Long Beach State. The Gauchos did what they could to try and stop the Beach's efforts, but every time they would start to rally back, Long Beach would go on another run. This caused UC Santa Barbara to drop the fourth and final set 20-25.

· Geste Bianchi led all players on the floor tonight in kills, racking up 25 in these four sets. He only made four errors on 50 swings to hit at an impressive .420 clip. If that wasn't enough, he also led the team in digs with eight while adding on three blocks.
· Jack Walmer led the offense as the team's primary setter. He notched 45 assists while adding on a team-high two aces. He also helped out on defense with seven digs.
· Outside hitters Ben Coordt and Owen Birg put up very similar numbers tonight. They both contributed nine kills each while only making two errors each. They both also helped out on defense as Birg secured six digs while Coordt added on three blocks.

The Gauchos will return to Rob Gymnasium tomorrow, March 9, to play their second match against the Beach. First serve will be at 6 p.m. in Santa Barbara with a live stream available through ESPN+.
(Article courtesy of UCSB Athletics)

Article Topic Follows: College Sports

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Mike Klan

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