Gauchos Win Tune-Up Match
Jan. 4, 2011
UCSB started off the New Year in the best way possible, downing the formidable Canadian college Laval of Quebec. The Gauchos received strong games from both their starting and backup units, who played two sets apiece, to take the match by a score of 3-1 (25-20, 25-14, 22-25, 25-20).
In the first two sets, the Gauchos starters dominated their opponents from the North, led by senior opposite Cullen Irons' 9 kills and senior outside hitter Jeff Menzel's 8 kills. The Gauchos also displayed a strong passing game, exemplified by senior setter Vince Devany's 23 assists, as well as strong defense by senior outside hitter Trey Valbuena and sophomore middle blocker Dylan Davis, who teamed up for 5 of UCSB's 10 blocks.
UCSB's second unit continued the team's strong play. Senior outside hitter Todd Travis had a team-high 10 kills, and sophomore setter Oliver Deutschman matched Devany's 23 assists. As a team, the Gauchos swung at a .468 clip. Conversely, the Gauchos held Laval to a hitting percentage of .155, including a .000 percentage in the second set.
Though the Gauchos received some standout performances, Head Coach Rick McLaughlin was quick to spread the praise. "Our team is going to rely on a different guy every night, and everyone came through tonight, it wasn't just one or two guys."
Also vital to the Gauchos was the opportunity to insert reserves into a game against a top opponent. "It was great to get our subs in against [Laval]. We're going to need them, and this is one of the better teams we'll be playing. Every game is more experience for them," said McLaughlin.
This was UCSB's final game before hosting the Gaucho Collegiate Invitational this weekend, Jan. 7-8. The Gauchos open up that tournament with a tilt against CSUN at 10 AM on Friday, Jan. 7.
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