Feb. 11, 2011
The seventh-ranked Gauchos extended their winning streak to three matches on Friday night, topping the fifth-ranked UCLA Bruins 3-1 (23-25, 25-18, 25-22, 25-20). The win was the fifth of the campaign, including pre-seaon, over the Bruins-marking the first time UCSB has beat UCLA five times in a single season. UCSB improved its record to 8-5 with a 6-4 mark in MPSF play. UCLA, losers of five straight, drop to last place in the conference with a 7-7 overall record, 2-6 MPSF.
The Gauchos attack was led by two familiar faces, senior outside hitter Jeff Menzel and senior opposite Cullen Irons, who finished with 18 and 16 kills respectively. Menzel's 18 kills were a season-high, and his 35 kills over the week marked his highest two-match output of the season.
The night did start off auspiciously for the Gauchos, who dropped the first set of the match while hitting a measly .120 as a team. UCSB was also unable to contain UCLA's Gonzalo Quiroga, who recorded kills on all five of his attacks. Senior middle blocker Scott Slaughter, whose quick hit is a mainstay on the Gaucho attack, did not register an attack attempt in the first game.
However, the Gauchos came out roaring at the start of the second game. With Slaughter serving, UCSB captured the first eight points of the set, including a pair of service aces from Slaughter, who finished the night with three aces. Slaughter also turned in six blocks on the evening. That big lead was never relinquished, as six Menzel kills and 13 assists from senior setter Vince Devany put the set away.
"Scott was outstanding tonight," said Head Coach Rick McLaughlin, "he was real big tonight. He kick-started our team in the second game after that tough first set."
At the beginning of the third set, it looked as if the Gauchos were going to run away again after getting out to an early 3-0 lead behind senior outside hitter Trey Valbuena's serve. However, the Bruins battled the Gauchos the entire set, as the score was tied as late as 22-22. The set ended on an impressive kill from Irons, whose five kills for the set were equaled by teammate Jeff Menzel.
The decisive fourth set was taken by the Gauchos on the back of strong serving and solid play from senior libero Andy McGuire. Three different Gauchos- Menzel, Devany, and Slaughter, recorded aces in the fourth set. Later in the set, with the Gauchos up 13-7, McGuire, who finished the night with five digs, made a sprawling dig off of a Kyle Caldwell attack that led to an emphatic kill from Irons. UCSB never looked back, completing the season sweep of the Bruins.
When asked about the Gauchos strong play against the Bruins, McLaughlin said, "they're not a bad team. Sometimes they play young guys, which will work out for them in the future. We just match up well. Beating them in pre-season certainly helped, gave our guys the confidence to know that it could happen."
Next up for the Gauchos are the BYU Cougars, who come to town next week for a two-game series at Rob Gym. The Cougars topped the Gauchos in their first meeting this year in the final of the Gaucho Collegiate Invitational. BYU is ranked second in the nation, but are also coming off their third loss of the season on Friday night, falling to unranked Loyola-Chicago.
To purchase tickets, please call (805) 893-UCSB, visit the Ticket Office located inside the Intercollegiate Athletics building on campus or buy online and print at home by clicking here.
The Intercollegiate Athletics Ticket Office has two parking spaces adjacent to the building and is now open on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., making it easier than ever for fans to purchase tickets. The two parking spots, designated specifically for the Ticket Office, are also available during weekday hours, which are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
GKids is the official kids club of UCSB Athletics. Members receive a free GKids t-shirt, free admittance to tons of Gaucho games, opportunities to be ball boys and girls at games, a special birthday greeting from Olie (the GKids mascot) and much, much more! For more information on GKids, or to become a member, please click here.
Gauchos Top Bruins
August 16, 2011 Menzel, Team USA Improve to 3-1 at World University Games
August 12, 2011 Menzel, Davis Represent USA in International Play
May 7, 2011 UCSB Unable to Capture NCAA Championship
May 5, 2011 Davis Leads Gauchos Over USC, Into NCAA Finals
May 3, 2011 Menzel Named AVCA Player of the Week
May 2, 2011 No. 3 Gauchos Head to NCAA Final Four
April 30, 2011 Gauchos Topple No. 1 USC, Capture MPSF Championship
April 29, 2011 Menzel, McGuire Named to AVCA All-American Team
April 29, 2011 No. 5 UCSB Reaches MPSF Championship Match, Take on USC
April 27, 2011 No. 5 UCSB Heads to Conference Final Four, Take on LBSU
April 22, 2011 No. 7 UCSB Heads to No. 2 BYU to Kick Off MPSF Tournament
April 21, 2011 Four Gauchos Earn All-MPSF Honors
April 16, 2011 UCSB Ends Regular Season With Loss Against No. 1 USC
April 14, 2011 Gauchos Upset by Pepperdine
April 8, 2011 Gauchos Stun No. 3 Stanford on Senior Night
April 7, 2011 No. 15 Pacific Upsets No. 6 Gauchos, 3-2
March 31, 2011 Gauchos Clinch Playoff Spot With Win Over Tritons
March 31, 2011 No. 8 UCSB Tries to Clinch a Playoff Spot Against UCI, UCSD
March 13, 2011 Gauchos Roll Over Lewis to Finish Up Active Ankle Tournament
March 11, 2011 UCSB Drops First Game of Long Beach Tournament to Penn State
March 4, 2011 Gauchos, Menzel Dominate CSUN
March 2, 2011 Gauchos Fall to Long Beach State
March 2, 2011 Men's Volleyball vs. LBSU Moved to Rec Cen
March 2, 2011 No. 4 Gauchos Return Home to Host Long Beach State, CSUN
February 27, 2011 UCSB Falls in Heartbreaker to Stanford
February 25, 2011 Gauchos Drop Pacific in Four
February 24, 2011 Gauchos Rise to Third in Rankings, Head North
February 18, 2011 UCSB Earns Split in BYU Series
February 17, 2011 Gauchos Fall to BYU in Four
February 16, 2011 Men's Volleyball Moves to T-Dome For This Weeks Matches
February 16, 2011 Gauchos Set for No. 2 BYU
February 11, 2011 Gauchos Top Bruins
February 9, 2011 Gauchos Top Bruins Behind Menzel's 17 Kills
February 8, 2011 Gauchos Prepare for Bruins
February 5, 2011 Gauchos Earn Split in Hawai'i Series
February 4, 2011 Gauchos Fall to Hawai'i
February 1, 2011 Gauchos Cross the Pacific, Battle Hawai'i
January 28, 2011 Gauchos Roll Over Waves, 3-0
January 28, 2011 Gauchos Look to Break Cold Streak Against Waves
January 26, 2011 No. 1 USC Pulls Away From No. 6 UCSB
January 25, 2011 No. 6 Gauchos Battle Top-Ranked USC on Wednesday at Robertson Gym
January 21, 2011 No. 5 Gauchos Blast Cal State Northridge, 3-0
January 19, 2011 Gauchos Continue Road Swing
January 18, 2011 Volleyball Drops Match At Long Beach State
January 15, 2011 UCSB Falls to UC Irvine in Straight Sets
January 14, 2011 Gauchos Sweep Tritons
January 13, 2011 Gauchos Kick Off 2011 Season
January 8, 2011 Gauchos Drop Final of Gaucho Collegiate Invitational
January 7, 2011 Gauchos Sweep Day One, Advance to Finals
January 5, 2011 UCSB Set to Host Gaucho Collegiate Invitational
January 4, 2011 Gauchos Win Tune-Up Match
January 3, 2011 Gauchos Ready to Roll
November 30, 2010 Gauchos Roll in Final Fall Tournament
August 20, 2010 U.S. Juniors Will Play for NORCECA Gold Saturday
August 18, 2010 U.S. Juniors Win Pool After Sweeping Mexico
August 17, 2010 U.S. Junior National Team Goes to 2-0 After Sweeping Martinique