April 1, 2009
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Cullen Irons' career-high 32 kills wasn't enough to bring No. 12 UCSB a victory as it fell to No. 4 USC in five sets at Robertson Gymnasium Wednesday. The scores went 26-30, 33-31, 26-30, 30-23, and 15-8 as the Gauchos dropped their fifth five-set match of the season.
Santa Barbara fell to 8-15 overall and 4-14 in the MPSF while the Trojans, who entered the match having already clinched a spot in the MPSF Tournament, improved to 16-6 overall and 12-5 in conference. Southern Cal swept the season series as it took a 3-1 win in Los Angeles in late February.
Irons, who started on the outside, raked in the 32 kills and finished with 35 points, another career-high for the sophomore. His kill total matched Jeff Menzel for the most by any Gaucho this season. Irons also added eight digs and six blocks and hit .333 with 12 errors in a tiring 60 swings.
Scott Slaughter followed Irons with 13 kills, hitting .400 for the night, while Jake Rosener had 12 kills and a career-high 13 digs. Vince DeVany and Andy McGuire each had match-highs with 64 assists and 17 digs, respectively. Sam Moisenco tied his career-high of eight blocks as UCSB out-blocked USC 13.0 to 11.5.
The Trojans had four players with double-digit kill totals including Troy Murphy (19), Tony Ciarelli (18), Austin Zahn (12), and Tri Bourne (11). Setter Riley McKibbin finished with 62 assists. Bourne and Luke Morris chipped in 10 digs apiece, a career-high for Bourne.
The Trojans out-hit the Gauchos .280 to .231 for the night, but committed 21 errors from the service line.
UCSB is at home this Saturday, Apr. 4 (7 p.m.), to face second-ranked Pepperdine. This is a Santa Barbara News-Press Kids to College match and all youth eighth grade and under will be admitted free.
Tickets are available online through Ticket Return, by calling the Athletics Ticket Office at (805) 893-UCSB, or by visiting the ticket office inside the Intercollegiate Athletics (ICA) building on campus.
In their last meeting on Feb. 18, the Waves swept the Gauchos in Malibu.
With the arrival of Mark Massari as Athletics Director in October, UCSB Athletics launched the Gauchos Give community outreach initiative for all 450 athletes and 20 sports. Gaucho athletes give back to their community through free clinics, helping families during the holidays, providing financial and emotional support during tragedies, and touching the lives of youth groups.
**UCSB - a nationally recognized university in both academic and athletic excellence - is located on the central coast of California in a picturesque campus and community setting on the Pacific Ocean. Each year over 450 NCAA Division I Gaucho student-athletes compete for national championships, succeed in the classroom, and give back to the community.**
- UCSBgauchos.com -