Feb. 15, 2007
Santa Barbara, Calif. - Backed by a match-high 18 kills from Evan Patak and a team hitting percentage of .465, the third-ranked UC Santa Barbara men's volleyball team handily defeated unranked UC San Diego, 3-0, Thursday in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) action at Robertson Gymnasium.
Scores of the match were 30-21, 30-19, and 30-27. UCSB, which has won three straight league contests, improved to 11-3 overall and 9-2 in MPSF matches. The Tritons dropped to 4-8 and 1-7.
Santa Barbara swept San Diego in La Jolla on Jan. 27 as well.
Patak, the AVCA National Player of the Week, was not only dangerous on the attack, but also from the service line, dropping in seven of UCSB's 11 aces. The opposite hit .481 and added three digs and two blocks while amassing 26.0 points in the win. Outside hitter Aaron Richman totaled 11 kills, hit .444, and had four blocks. Middle Theo Brunner also had four blocks and libero Ben Brockman recorded a match-high five digs. Bart Kowalski and Max Klineman split the setting duties and had 23 and 21 assists, respectively.
UCSD hit .303 for the match. The Tritons improved as the night went on, hitting .241 in game one, .318 in the second frame, and .360 in the third. Will Ehrman led San Diego with 10 kills, but hit just .174 with six errors in 23 attempts. Jason Spangler put away nine kills with no errors in 12 swings to hit .750. Eric Leserman posted a team-high four digs and setter Brooks Dierdorff had 31 helpers.
The Gauchos hit a blistering .533 in the opening game as Patak put down six kills and Richman slammed home five. UCSB jumped out to a 4-0 lead and would never trail in the game.
In the second game, the lead went back and forth until Patak set outside hitter Bryan Berman for a kill that gave UCSB an 18-17 advantage and the lead for the rest of the stanza. Patak only had two kills in the game, but he served up five aces, including four in the final five plays of the set. The Gauchos rattled off six unanswered points to win the game.
UCSD rolled to a five-point lead at 14-9 in the third game before Santa Barbara called a timeout. When action resumed, the Gauchos collected four straight points on kills from middle blocker David Kennedy, Patak, and Richman, plus another ace by Patak to bring UCSB within one at 13-14. San Diego went up by four at 18-14, only to see the game tied at 19 after a hitting error. The squads traded points before a Patak/Brunner block gave UCSB its first lead of the game at 26-25. A Gaucho service error, one of the team's 16 on the night, tied it at 26, but two Patak kills and a UCSD hitting error gave Santa Barbara a 29-26 edge. Following a Spangler kill, Klineman set Brunner for the match-winning kill.
It was the 497th career victory for UCSB head coach Ken Preston, now in his 29th season leading the Gauchos.
UCSB will look to equal a season-best four-match win streak when it hosts No. 13 Long Beach State Saturday at 7 p.m. The Gauchos defeated the 49ers 3-0 in Long Beach on Jan. 26.