No. 16 UC Santa Barbara stuns No. 2/3 UCLA with walk-off ace

Photo courtesy of UC Santa Barbara athletics

Sam Collins came off the bench and delivered the biggest upset of the season in walk-off fashion.

Collins with the decisive fifth game on the verge of overtime served a match-winning ace as No. 16 UC Santa Barbara upset No. 2/3 UCLA 30-28, 23-25, 25-23, 23-25, 15-13 on Thursday in Los Angeles.

Collins was used as a serving specialist throughout the non-conference and was subbed into the fifth game with the Gauchos leading 14-13. The redshirt junior also led all players with a career-high three aces in the victory.


UC Santa Barbara opposite Geste Bianchi finished with a match-high 27 kills on a .333 attack percentage, including having four kills in the fifth game. Bianchi in the final game had a kill to cap off a 4-1 run at the start of the game and then had a kill that set-up Collins’ match-winning ace.

Despite the loss, UCLA out-hit UC Santa Barbara .331 to .293.

Outside attacker Alex Knight led the Bruins with 16 kills on a .303 attack percentage, while middle attacker Merrick McHenry added 10 kills and hit .400.

This is the second loss for the defending NCAA champions in its last three matches. UCLA suffered a five-game to Ohio State on Friday at the First Point Collegiate Classic in Texas for its first loss of the season.