UCSB Downs Defending National Champion UC Irvine for Fourth Consecutive Victory
March 3, 2010
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Jeff Menzel secured a double-double with 22 kills and 11 digs as the No. 10 UC Santa Barbara men's volleyball team defeated No. 12 UC Irvine, 3-1, in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) play Wednesday night at Recreation Center Main Gym. Set scores were 33-31, 30-28, 27-30, and 30-24 in favor of the Gauchos.
With the win, UCSB improves to 10-8 overall, 7-5 in MPSF play, while sweeping the season series versus UCI, 2-0. UCSB previously beat the defending national champions, 3-1, on January 22 in Irvine. UCI drops to 9-10 overall and 5-9 in conference play.
Following Menzel's example, Jake Rosener and Scott Slaughter each tallied 14 kills on the night, with Rosener hitting at a .407 rate (14-3-27) and Slaughter at a .636 clip (14-1-25). Setter Vince Devany dished-out 60 assists on the night and added 10 digs. Libero Andy McGuire also had 10 digs.
For the Anteaters, Jordan DuFault connected on a match-high 25 kills on 41 attempts, finishing with a .439 hitting percentage. Carson Clark scooped a match-high 16 digs while connecting on 21 attack attempts. Ian Wynne had 28 assists while his brother, Kevin Wynne, hit .600 (11-2-15).
The Gauchos got out to a quick 13-9 lead in the first set, but UCI was able to nudge within one at 20-19. The Gauchos scored the next five points with kills by Menzel, Rosener, and Slaughter in addition to a pair of errors from UCI. Trailing 25-21, the Anteaters battled to tie the match at 27-27. The teams traded points until the 31-point mark, but a service error by Clark followed by a Rosener kill gave UCSB the first set, 33-31.
In the second frame, the Gauchos fell behind by as many as six points, but a kill from Irons, a block by Slaughter, and another point by Rosener gave the Gauchos a 26-25 lead. Slaughter and Clark each traded a pair of kills, keeping the Gauchos up by one, 28-27. After a block by UCSB, Clark brought the Anteaters within one, but Menzel ended the second set with a cross-court kill, 30-28.
In the third frame, the Gauchos mustered only a .242 team hitting percentage while UCI connected on 20 of its 34 total attempts with five errors for a .441 team hitting average. UCI took the set, 30-27.
UCI won the first point of the fourth set, but it would mark the only time the Anteaters would lead the rest of the way. Up by three, a kill by Menzel followed by a pair of hitting errors from DuFault gave UCSB a 27-22 lead. The teams would trade points until a quick-hit from UCSB's Sam Moisenco put the Anteaters down, 30-24.
Wednesday's match marked just the second time the Gauchos had won at home this season. The team is 2-7 at home so far this year and 8-1 away from its friendly confines.
UCSB will travel to Los Angeles on Friday, March 5, to take on No. 7 USC at 7 p.m. in the Galen Center. The Trojans previously beat the Gauchos, 3-2, in the teams' contest on February 5 at the Thunderdome.
This season, fans have several options to purchase men's volleyball tickets. Online sales are through Ticket Return. Just go to UCSBgauchos.com and click on "Tickets." Additionally, tickets are available by calling the Ticket Office at 805.893.UCSB or by visiting the Ticket Office, located in the Intercollegiate Athletics building on campus. Of course, you can also buy tickets at the Rob Gym entrance beginning one our prior to the start of the match. Individual match ticket prices are $7 for adults, $5 for seniors, and $3 for youths. UCSB students are free.
UCSB men's volleyball matches can be followed live online for no charge with Gametracker. Log on to UCSBgauchos.com, go to the men's volleyball schedule, and click on the Gametracker link for the match you're interested in.