Jan. 29, 2010
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The No. 10 UC Santa Barbara men's volleyball team made quick work of Pacific Friday night, taking the Tigers down in straight sets, 30-24, 30-16, and 30-21, at Alex G. Spanos Center.
The Gauchos improve to 4-5 overall, 4-2 in the MPSF conference. UCSB has already matched their MPSF win total from last season, when they went 4-18. Pacific drops to 4-5 overall, 0-5 in the MPSF.
Cullen Irons paced the Gauchos, connecting on a match-high 15 kills on 28 attempts with three errors, good enough for a .429 overall clip. Jeff Menzel added nine kills, five digs and a pair of aces in the win. Scott Slaughter hit a career high .833 (10-0-12) and tallied six blocks. Vince Devany dished out 40 assists.
For the Tigers, Sean Daley hit .412 (11-4-17) while adding an assist and a block. Kevin Downing ended up with three assists. Pacific hit just .090 (35-26-100) as a team on the night.
The Gauchos have now won three straight matches after upsets over No. 2 Stanford and No. 4 UC Irvine. This marks the first time UCSB has won three matches in a row since February 2008.
The two teams stayed tight throughout most of the first set. With the Gauchos leading 22-21, a kill from Slaughter was answered by a block from Pacific's Nicola Vukicevic and Florian Gomik to make it 23-22. Slaughter responded with another kill and was followed with a point from Menzel. Daley brought the match back to 25-23, but an error by Gomik and another Menzel kill gave the Gauchos a four-point lead late in the set, 27-24.
After Irons and freshman Dylan Davis connected on their next swing attempts, the pair combined for a block on Taylor Hughes to take the first set, 30-24.
UCSB controlled the entire second set, gunning out to a quick 16-10 lead. The Tigers were unable to cut the deficit to anything less than six, and the Gauchos took the easy 30-16 set-two victory.
A Slaughter kill gave the Gauchos a comfortable 26-19 late in the third set. After a pair of Gaucho errors, a kill by Jake Rosener and a pair of kills from Irons ended the match, 30-21, in favor of UCSB.
UCSB's next home contest is Wednesday, February 3rd, when they will host No. 11 Pepperdine at Rob Gym. The Gauchos will welcome top-ranked USC to campus on Friday, February 5th. Both matches start at 7 p.m.
This season, fans have several options to purchase men's volleyball tickets. Online sales are through Ticket Return. Just go to UCSBgauchos.com, roll over "Tickets", and click on "Buy Now Print From Home." Then click on the Men's Volleyball section. Additionally, tickets are available by calling the Ticket Office at 805.893.UCSB or by visiting the Ticket Office, located in the Intercollegiate Athletics building on campus. Of course, you can also buy tickets at the Rob Gym entrance beginning one hour prior to the start of the match. Individual match ticket prices are $7 for adults, $5 for seniors, and $3 for youths. UCSB students are free.