April 4, 2009
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The No. 12 UC Santa Barbara men's volleyball team was swept by No. 2 Pepperdine Saturday at Robertson Gymnasium in MPSF action. Scores were 30-23, 30-26, and 30-28 as the Waves won their ninth straight match.
UCSB dropped to 8-16 overall and 4-15 in the MPSF. Pepperdine, currently in first place in the league, improved to 18-2 overall and 16-2 in MPSF play.
Cullen Irons recorded 18 kills and hit a solid .520 for the Gauchos. It was the third consecutive match that the sophomore posted a team-high in the kills column. Classmate Jeff Menzel followed Irons with 12 kills, but he hit just .094 with nine errors in 32 swings. Libero Andy McGuire had a match-best seven digs and setter Vince Devany totaled 41 assists.
Pepperdine was paced by opposite Paul Carroll, who recorded 21 kills and hit .594 with just two miscues in 32 attempts. Eight of Carroll's kills came in the third and final set. Setter Kasey Crider, the AVCA National Player of the Week, had 49 assists, while Cory Riecks had nine kills and Tyler Jaynes had five blocks.
Pepperdine dominated in several statistical categories, out-hitting the Gauchos .482 (50-9-85) to .225 (43-23-89) and finishing with a 9.0 to 5.0 advantage in blocks. The Waves did commit 19 errors from the service line.
The Gauchos, who hit under .150 in each of the first two sets, began to pick it up in the third frame, hitting .361. UCSB played from behind early, but two kills from Irons and a hitting error by Pepperdine gave the Gauchos three straight points and a 12-10 lead. The Waves came back to tie it at 13-13 and then the teams traded the lead until a Menzel kill evened it at 28-28. A kill by Riecks and a block by Jaynes gave Pepperdine the victory.
Pepperdine has won the past eight match-ups against Santa Barbara.
After playing two matches on the road at Long Beach State and UC San Diego next week, UCSB will return home to end the regular season against Cal State Northridge on Friday, Apr. 17 (7 p.m.). Tickets are available online through Ticket Return, by calling the Athletics Ticket Office at (805) 893-UCSB, or by visiting the ticket office in the Intercollegiate Athletics (ICA) building on campus.
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 -