No. 4 UCSB Blanks UC San Diego to Improve to 7-2

Jan. 27, 2007

Box Score

La Jolla, Calif. - The No. 4 UC Santa Barbara men's volleyball team continued its offensive dominance Saturday and picked up a 3-0 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) victory over unranked UC San Diego at RIMAC Arena. The Gauchos hit .448, their second-highest attack percentage of the season.

Scores of the match, which lasted one hour and twenty minutes, were 30-17, 30-25, and 30-19. UCSB won its second-straight match and improved to 7-2 overall and 5-1 in the MPSF. UCSD, which lost for the second time in as many days, fell to 2-4 overall and 1-4 in the conference.

The Tritons could not stop the swing of opposite hitter Evan Patak, who posted a match-high 18 kills. Patak hit at an impressive .560 clip with just four errors in 25 attacks. He also added a team-high five digs, four service aces, and three blocks.

UCSB middle blocker Theo Brunner had 10 kills, hit .529, and recorded five blocks, while middle David Kennedy hit .538 with seven kills and no errors in 13 attempts.

For the second-straight night, the Gauchos dropped in 10 service aces. Friday, in a 3-0 win at No. 8 Long Beach State, UCSB hit .430 and has now attacked at .400 or better in seven of nine matches.

The Tritons hit just .189 for the match. Jason Spangler led UCSD with 12 kills on .357 hitting, adding five blocks. Andy Northness came off the bench with seven kills on .636 hitting. Brooks Dierdorff had 31 assists and six digs.

UCSB came out with an impressive .548 hitting clip in the first game. The Gauchos led 10-8 and then went on a 10-4 run to up the lead to 20-12.

In game two, UCSB took the lead quickly and stretched its advantage to 18-8. The Tritons pulled back within six after Spangler put down a kill and followed that with a block. UCSD would come as close as four points (29-25), but UCSB would prevail, winning 30-25.

UCSB used a string of small runs in game three to open up a five-point lead at 20-15. A UCSB kill, followed by back-to-back UCSD errors gave the Gauchos a 10-point lead that the Tritons would never recover from.

Ken Preston, now in his 29th season as head coach of the UCSB men's volleyball program, needs just seven more victories for 500 in his career. To date, Preston holds a 493-353 record at the school.

The Gauchos return to Santa Barbara to host No. 14 USC Wednesday, Jan. 31 at Robertson Gymnasium (7 p.m.). UCSB swept USC Jan. 5 during the 43rd Annual Elephant Bar Collegiate Invitational in Santa Barbara.