March 10, 2010

UCSB Suffers First Sweep of Season in Loss To CSUN

March 10, 2010

Box Score

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The No. 10 UC Santa Barbara men's volleyball team could not find its mark against No. 3 Cal State Northridge, falling to the Matadors, 3-0, Wednesday night at Robertson Gymnasium. Set scores were 30-26, 31-29, and 30-25 in favor of CSUN.

UCSB (10-10, 7-7) managed only a .248 team hitting percentage on the night, dropping its second consecutive match. The Gauchos are now 2-8 in the friendly confines of Rob Gym this season.

Todd Travis swung at a .467 rate for UCSB, entering the match in the third set before adding six kills, two digs and a block. Jeff Menzel tallied 15 kills, but hit .111 in the loss. Scott Slaughter followed with 10 kills on 15 attempts (.467). Libero Andy McGuire scooped a match-high 13 digs.

John Baker led the Matadors with 13 kills, followed by Kevin McKniff's eight kills. McKniff and Mike Gaudino both hit .500 on the night. Matt Stork dished out 37 assists. Northridge managed a .287 team hitting percentage, slightly better than UCSB.

In the first set, a kill from Menzel followed by a block by Cullen Irons and Slaughter gave the Gauchos a two-point cushion at 23-21. However, a pair of errors by the Gauchos and a kill from Baker gave the Matadors a 24-23 lead. The teams would trade points until 26-26, but another error from UCSB combined with a kill and a pair of blocks from McKniff gave CSUN the 30-26 set one victory.

UCSB lead most of the way in the second frame, but a pair of attack errors from Rosener allowed CSUN to tie it at 27-27. Menzel followed with a point, but the teams would trade errors, making it 29-29. Baker found his spot on his next swing and McKniff came up with a key block to clinch the set once again, 31-29, in favor of the Matadors. The Gauchos managed only a .184 (18-9-29) team hitting percentage in the second.

Northridge (14-6, 11-6) took the early lead in the third stanza with a pair of aces to make it 12-8 CSUN. The Gauchos would battle back, working to tie it up 14-14. However, the Gauchos would never gain the lead the rest of the set, allowing the Matadors to take the minimum amount of sets required in the win, 30-25.

The Gauchos next contest will be against Pepperdine in Malibu on Saturday, March 13, at 7 p.m. The Waves took down UCSB earlier this season, 3-2, at Rob Gym. The Gauchos are 8-2 on the road so far this year.

Tickets for all matches this season are available by calling 805.893.UCSB, visiting the Ticket Office located inside the Intercollegiate Athletics Building on campus, or buy online and print at home. The Intercollegiate Athletics Ticket Office now has two parking spaces adjacent to the building and is open on Saturdays, making it easier than ever for fans to purchase tickets. The ICA Ticket Office will be open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays. The two parking spots, designated specifically for the Ticket Office, are already available during weekday hours, which are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

In 2009, UCSB Athletics unveiled the BE Great initiative. BE Great is dedicated to maximizing leadership ability, strong on-campus interaction, and general welfare for all 450 student-athletes and Intercollegiate Athletics staff at UC Santa Barbara. BE Great also focuses on personal and career development, diversity and social awareness, and ensuring academic success.