RIVERSIDE, Calif. --- In one of the toughest leagues in the NCAA, California Baptist University rarely gets a night off from ranked opponents. Wednesday night was no different as the Lancers hosted No. 5-ranked UC Santa Barbara and dropped the match in three sets (25-19, 25-16, 25-21).
The Lancers drop to 4-19 overall and 2-17 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. The Gauchos improve to 14-6 on the season and 13-6 in conference.
Going up against the MPSF's toughest defense, as the Gauchos keep their opponents to a .223 hitting clip, the Lancers couldn't put together their offense for the first two sets.
The Lancers tied the score four times in the opening set, but couldn't step in front as the Gauchos built up to a 25-19 first set victory.
Despite hoping to turn things around in the second, CBU found itself in a seven-point hole at 13-6, but quickly battled back. The Lancers went on a 5-0 run off kills from Brink and DeLyon, paired with UCSB mistakes to put the score within two at 13-11. That was the closest the score would get, however, as the Gauchos powered through to take the set 25-16.
CBU put up its best fight in the third, even taking the lead for a moment. After exchanging the first two points, the Lancers went in front by two at 4-2, but soon found their advantage diminish.
Trailing 10-8, a Gaucho service error and Brink kill evened the set at 10-10, but UCSB pushed to extend its lead up to 17-14. The Lancers battled to stay in the set, hoping to force the match into a fourth, cutting the score to 23-21 off another kill from Brink.
UCSB put the match away on the next two plays, claiming the third 25-21 to end the match.
CBU returns to Van Dyne Gym tomorrow for its final home contest of 2014, hosting No. 9-ranked UCLA at 7 p.m. Lone senior Kristopher Johnson will be honored prior to the start of the match.