No. 9 UCSB Can't Hold Off No. 10 Pepperdine in Five Set Heartbreaker

Feb. 3, 2010

Box Score

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The No. 9 UC Santa Barbara men's volleyball team could not hold on to a two-set lead, falling to No. 10 Pepperdine, 3-2, Wednesday night at Rob Gym. Set scores were 23-30, 26-30, 30-22, 30-28, and 15-13 in favor of the Waves.

Jeff Menzel finished with 29 kills on 55 total attempts, hitting at a .364 clip. He also contributed seven digs, two aces and 32.5 total points, matching a season high. MPSF Player of the Week Cullen Irons added 21 kills, three digs and three blocks. Scott Slaughter hit .364 (12-4-22) and added a season-high six blocks. Vince Devany dished out 68 assists, also a season-high.

Freshman Maurice Torres was one of five players for Pepperdine who tallied double digit kill totals, leading the squad with 18 kills on 34 total attempts. Cory Riecks followed with 17 kills, five digs and 19.0 total points. Kasey Crider passed-out a match-high 70 assists.

With the loss, the Gauchos drop to 4-6 overall, 4-3 in MPSF play. Pepperdine improves to 3-4 overall, 4-3 in conference.

"We had the match right where we wanted it," said UCSB head coach Rick McLaughlin, "We just let off a little bit and they were able to take advantage and get back into the match."

The Gauchos got off to a hot start, hitting .352 over the first two sets to take the early 2-0 lead.

Pepperdine answered by logging a .452 hitting percentage in the third set, led by Torres' eight kills. The Waves took the set by eight points, making the match 2-1 in favor of the Gauchos.

Down by six at 19-25 in the third set, the Gauchos rallied on Irons' serve with six consecutive points to tie the set at 25-25. After the teams traded points, a block by Dylan Davis and Menzel gave UCSB a slight 28-27 edge. However, a kill by Pepperdine's Rodnei Santos and a pair of mistimed errors from Davis and Devany gave the Waves the fourth set, 30-28.

The teams stayed tight in the fifth set, trading points until the score reached 10-10. After Torres erred to give the Gauchos a one-point led, Torres and J.D. Schleppenbach combined for a pair of points and a block to give the Waves a 13-11 lead. Jake Rosener answered for the Gauchos, but was unable to put his next serve in play, making it 14-12. After Irons connected on his next attempt, the Waves' Tyler Jaynes ended the match, connecting on his 14th kill of the contest.

The Gauchos have now dropped five five-set matches this season.

UCSB will be back in action on Friday, February 5, as the Gauchos welcome USC to the Thunderdome. Match-time is set for 7 p.m.

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