Jan. 4, 2008
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Poor hitting plagued the 14th-ranked UC Santa Barbara men's volleyball team as it was swept by No. 7 Cal State Northridge Friday in the second round of the Elephant Bar Restaurant Collegiate Invitational at Robertson Gymnasium. The Gauchos will take on Pacific Saturday in the seventh/eighth place match.
Scores of the match went 30-21, 30-25, and 30-27 as the Matadors are 1-1 and the Gauchos are 0-2 on the young season.
UCSB hit a dismal .045 for the match with 28 kills and 24 errors in 89 swings. Game two proved to be the most frustrating for the Gauchos as they hit -.032. In contrast, Northridge swung at .320 for the match and opened with a .472 attack percentage in the first set.
The Gauchos got a strong performance out of freshman outside hitter Jeff Menzel, who led all players with 15 kills and 16.5 points. He was the lone Gaucho to amass a double-digit kill total. Setter Mike Runkle totaled 24 assists and had a solid game at the net with five blocks.
For the Matadors, Cody Loe and Kevin McKniff each put away 12 kills. McKniff hit .579 and Loe was just behind at .500. A force up front, Loe also recorded five blocks and led his squad with 15 points. Eric Vance had a match-best eight digs.
In other second round action, Alberta defeated Long Beach State 3-1 (30-28, 30-24, 26-30, 30-24), Stanford topped reigning national champion UC Irvine 3-2 (30-21, 30-28, 24-30, 24-30, 15-10), and USC dispatched Pacific 3-1 (30-20, 30-26, 25-30, 30-22).
Tournament play concludes Saturday with four matches at Robertson Gymnasium. UCSB plays Pacific in the seventh/eighth place match (11 a.m.), Cal State Northridge battles USC in the fifth/sixth place tilt (1:30 p.m.), UC Irvine plays Long Beach State in the consolation match (4 p.m.), and Alberta faces off against Stanford in the championship (6:30 p.m.).
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