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Men’s Volleyball Wraps Up Road Trip With Win Over Harvard

by Staff

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The No. 12 UC Santa Barbara Men’s Volleyball team (4-7) had one match left on their East Coast road trip as they took on the Crimson of Harvard. It was a quick three-setter for the Gauchos in the Malkin Athletic Center as they swept the home team with scores of 25-19, 25-23 and 25-18.
 
FROM HEAD COACH RICK MCLAUGHLIN
“It was a good match for the Gauchos tonight. We served the ball better and passed very well. Those two things will usually get you the win. We didn’t get as many wins as we would have liked, but all in all, this was a great learning road trip for us.”
 
HOW IT HAPPENED
It was a slow start for the Gauchos as they were tied with the Crimson through the first several points. Once the score was tied at 7-7, that is when UC Santa Barbara began their run. Owen Birg went off first with a three-point run of his own before Josh Aruya did the same from the service line. With those two runs and the offensive efforts of Birg and Geste Bianchi, the Gauchos cruised to a first-set victory with a score of 25-19.
 
From there, Birg and Owen Loncar helped the Blue and Gold start the second set on a high note. Their combined efforts from the service line and multiple errors by the Crimson gave UC Santa Barbara an early three-point lead. This lead didn’t last for too long as Harvard retaliated, tying the set up at 15’s before taking a two-point lead. This didn’t affect UC Santa Barbara. They battled back quickly, reclaiming the lead and ultimately going on to win the second set 25-23.
 
Once the third set began, it was all UC Santa Barbara. Aruya served the Gauchos to a six-point lead with the help of Bianchi and Loncar on offense before Harvard could even get on the scoreboard. This lead and the Gauchos’ .381 hitting percentage was all they needed to carry them through this set. UC Santa Barbara ultimately won the third and final set 25-18.
 
LOOKING AT THE NUMBERS

  • Geste Bianchi led the offensive efforts as he finished the night with 14 kills. Along with that, he only made four errors on 27 swings to hit at a .370 clip. He also added to the defensive efforts with three blocks and three digs.
  • Owen Loncar had a phenomenal outing in the middle for the Gauchos. He hit at a .667 clip, registering four kills and no errors on six swings. Along with that, Loncar led the team in blocks with seven, three of which were solo blocks.
  • Greg Baglio served as the team’s primary setter tonight. He ended his time in Cambridge with 27 assists while adding on six digs, four blocks and an ace.
  • Joe Wallace has been holding down the back row defense for the Gauchos. He grabbed eight digs along with two assists in tonight’s win. 

UP NEXT
The Gauchos will return to Rob Gymnasium on Thursday, Feb. 8 as they take on the No. 10 Pepperdine Waves. First serve will be at 6 p.m. with a live stream available through ESPN+.

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