Gauchos Drop Pacific in Four
Feb. 25, 2011
The third-ranked Gauchos hot streak continued on Friday night, as they topped the fifteenth-ranked Pacific Tigers in 4 games (25-17, 20-25, 25-18, 25-19). UCSB (10-6, 7-5) has now won five of its last six matches dating back to their win over Hawai'i on Feb. 4. Pacific dropped to 2-8 in conference play, though they are 4-2 in non-conference play for a 6-10 overall record.
The Gauchos secured the win despite having only two players finish with hitting percentages over .280. Senior middle blocker Scott Slaughter, the MPSF leader in hitting percentage, did not disappoint with nine kills and an error on 16 attacks for a .500 hitting percentage. Senior outside hitter Trey Valbuena finished the night with eight kills on a .333 hitting percentage. Senior setter Vince Devany racked up 41 assists- he has reached 40 assists in each of his past five matches. Senior libero Andy McGuire had a match-high 17 digs, a season high for him.
The Gauchos big hitters also had respectable nights. Senior outside hitter Jeff Menzel had 10 kills, and he has reached the double-digit kills mark in nine straight and in 13 overall out of UCSB's 16 matches. Jeff also notched a pair of service aces. Senior opposite Cullen Irons had a match-high 18 kills. The two seniors also chipped in seven digs apiece.
Pacific was led by Florian Gornik, who led his team in both kills (12) and digs (10), the only Tiger to reach double-digits in either category. Pacific only hit .133 as a team.
The Gauchos finish up their Northern road trip tomorrow night against the defending national champions, Stanford. UCSB and Stanford split their two matches last year and have yet to face each other so far this season. The No. 3 Gauchos and No. 4 Cardinals find themselves jockeying each other for the better position in the national ranking and in the MPSF standings.
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