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Pacific Men's Volleyball: Tigers Fall On The Road At No. 10 UC Santa Barbara, 3-0

Apr 2, 2010
On the road in Santa Barbara, Calif. the Pacific men's volleyball team suffered a 3-0 loss to the No. 10 ranked UC Santa Barbara Gauchos on Friday, April 2. The loss dropped the Tigers to 8-17 overall and 0-17 in conference while the Gauchos improved to 11-13 on the year and 8-10 in the MPSF.

Game scores for the match were: 30-22, 30-27, 30-26.

In the first game of the night, the Tigers were able to stay close to the Gauchos early on as Pacific was within one point at 15-14. During the stretch freshman Taylor Hughes (Fallbrook, Calif.) and sophomore Florian Gornik (Schwechat, Austria) played a big part in the Tigers success as the duo led the way by scoring nine of the 15 points. Hughes led the way with five of the points in the run as he produced three of his six kills in the match in the first half of the opening contest while also picking up a pair of blocks.

Despite the close start, the Gauchos were able to pull away from the Tigers with a 4-0 run that pushed their lead to five points to 19-14. From there, UC Santa Barbara closed out the first game with by outscoring the Tigers 11-to-8 to pick up the opening win. Overall, the Gauchos out hit the Tigers, .429-to.212.

After the opening game loss, the Tigers came back in the second set looking to knot the match at one game a piece. Throughout much of the second game Pacific held a slight advantage over the Gauchos as they led by as much as three points in the game as late as 24-21. However, the Gauchos again used a 4-0 run against the Tigers to take back the lead, a hold that they would not relinquish for the remainder of the game. With the game tied at 26-26, UC Santa Barbara ended the Tigers hopes for a second game win with a 4-1 run to close out the game and take a commanding two games to zero lead.

In the set, freshman Christian Ahlin (Winnetka, Ill.) tallied three kills for the Tigers as he continued his nearly perfect night which began in the opening set as he posted five kills and no errors through the first two games. 

Down two sets, the Tigers tried again to rally against the Gauchos in the third set of the night, again leading for much of the game and as late at 20-19. However, Pacific's attempt to prolong the match would be denied by UC Santa Barbara as the Gauchos put the match to rest using a 5-1 run to pick up the victory after the Tigers had tied the game at 25-25. Again, Ahlin was at his best for the Tigers in the game as he posted five kills in the final game to close out the match with a team-high 10 kills on 13 attempts with no errors. Additionally, Ahlin added a match-high six blocks as Pacific posted 8.5 team blocks.

Gornik tied Ahlin with 10 kills in the match, but the Tigers hit just .215 as a team while the Gauchos posted a .270 hitting percentage. Jeff Menzel led all attackers in the match with 14 kills for UC Santa Barbara while Jake Rosener added 10 as well.

Pacific will be back in action on Saturday, April 3 when it travels to Cal State Northridge to take on the Matadors in MPSF conference action. The match is scheduled to begin at 7:00 pm.