In a back and forth match, the Trojans fell to the No. 12 ranked UC Santa Barbara Gauchos in five sets on Wednesday. Gauchos junior Jacob Delson led the way with 22 kills and 4 aces in the 25-21, 21-25, 25-18, 19-25, 15-10 victory. The Trojans now stand at 2-4 overall and 1-2 in the MPSF.
For the Trojans, getting another win against a top 25 team would have been a confidence-booster, but they fell just short this time. On the positive side, they once again received solid contributions from several players. Senior Lucas Yoder finished with 17 kills, while freshman Aaron Strange added 14 kills and eight digs. On top of that, senior Andy Benesh had 11 kills (hitting .526) and six blocks and sophomore Matt Douglas had seven digs.
The Trojans could grow a lot from this game. Though the final result wasn’t what they were looking for, they fought hard against one of the nation’s top teams and nearly pulled out a win. It was especially important for them to put up a strong effort following a devastating 3-0 loss to CSUN in the previous match.
It will be key for the Trojans to continue their physical and consistent play as they take on No. 2 UCLA on Friday at 8 p.m.