March 12, 2008
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Backed by a match-high 21 kills from freshman Jeff Menzel, the No. 13 UC Santa Barbara men's volleyball team upset No. 10 USC 3-0 Wednesday at Robertson Gymnasium. The victory snapped Santa Barbara's four-match losing skid and gave the Gauchos a 45-44 lead in the all-time series against the Trojans.
Scores of the sweep went 30-25, 30-23, and 30-27. UCSB improved to 8-11 overall and 6-9 in the MPSF, while USC fell to 9-12 on the year and now also sits at 6-9 in league play. Both squads are tied for ninth in the MPSF.
Menzel had a field day from the right side, hitting a career-high .529 with three errors in 34 attempts. The Santa Barbara native also added three digs, three blocks, and a match-best 23 points.
As a team, the Gauchos had one of their most productive matches as far as offense goes. For the night, they hit .366 (50-13-101) and out-blocked the Trojans 12 to 3. USC managed just a .178 (41-23-101) attack percentage.
Santa Barbara spread out its offensive barrage as several players contributed multiple kills including Theo Brunner (9), Mike Runkle (8), Phil Mathews (6), and Matt Thobe (5). Thobe set several career-highs as he hit .556 (5-0-9) with a pair of service aces and 10.5 points. The middle blocker also had two digs and a match-high six blocks.
Freshman setter Vince DeVany totaled 43 assists for UCSB.
The Trojans got 14 kills from C.J. Schellenberg and 12 out of Juan Figueroa. Luke Morris had a match-high 10 digs, while Jimmy Killian and Riley McKibbin split setting duties, recording 19 and 16 assists.
UCSB hosts No. 5 Pepperdine Mar. 15 at 7 p.m. The Waves (8-8, 8-8 MPSF) fell in five games at second-ranked Cal State Northridge Wednesday night. The Gauchos are 0-1 against Pepperdine this season, losing 3-1 in Malibu back in early January.
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