Gauchos Earn Split in Hawai'i Series
Feb. 5, 2011
The sixth-ranked Gauchos defeated the Hawai'i Rainbow Warriors in straight sets Friday night, 3-0 (25-22, 25-23, 25-23). The win gave the Gauchos a split in their series on the islands. The victory improved UCSB's record to 6-5, 4-4 MPSF, while No. 10 Hawai'i dropped to 3-6, 3-3 MPSF.
The match was an extremely tight one, each set was tied as late as 22-22. UCSB rallied off each late tie to claim the set. Clutch play from senior outside hitter Jeff Menzel, who had a match-high 15 kills, and Hawai'i miscues made the difference in a match that could have gone either way.
In the first set, the Gauchos were able to break the late deadlock due to three consecutive service and hitting errors by the Warriors. Menzel came into his own at the end of the second set, contributing a service ace and the decisive kill in the last few points. The third set was won on the back of kills by Menzel and sophomore middle blocker Dylan Davis, while match-point came on a strong block from senior opposite Cullen Irons and senior setter Vince Devany.
Irons also contributed 11 kills on the night, while senior outside hitter Trey Valbuena chipped in 7 kills, increasing his two-day total to 19 kills. Menzel and Irons recorded 30 kills apiece in the two-match series at Hawai'i.
Senior libero Andy McGuire led the Gauchos with 9 digs, while Davis led the team with 4 blocks.
In the win, the Gauchos were able to contain the Warrior's attacking duo of Joshua Walker and Jonah Umlauft to 22 kills, down from 34 the night before. Hawai'i was held to a hitting percentage of .213 for the night, including a .059 clip in the first set.
The Gauchos return to the mainland next week to play a home-and-home series against UCLA. UCSB plays at UCLA"s Pauley Pavillion on Wednesday night before returning to Rob Gym to take on the Bruins Friday night.
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Tune in to UCSB Athletics' weekly radio show Talk'n Gauchos, which airs every Tuesday from 6-7 p.m. on AM 1290 KZSB. The show is broadcast live from the Beachside Bar & Café on Goleta Beach. Fans are encouraged to attend the show for free gear and ticket giveaways and can even e-mail a question in to one of the guests and have it read live over the air. The show also airs live online via audio streaming and fans can click here to check out the entire lineup of live audio streaming online.