Jan. 15, 2010
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - They say close only counts in horseshoes and hand-grenades.
The UCSB men's volleyball team knows that all too well.
Having gone five sets its last three matches without a victory to show for it, No. 14 UCSB (0-4, 0-1 MPSF) is looking to tally its first win of the season versus No. 11 UC San Diego (1-3, 0-1 MPSF) Saturday night at 7 p.m. in Robertson Gymnasium.
The contest marks the second time the teams will face each other this season. Their first bout of the season took place on January 8th in the seventh-place match of the Santa Barbara Invitational; UCSB crawled back from an 0-2 deficit but eventually lost in five sets to the Tritons, 30-22, 30-27, 29-31, 26-30, and 15-11.
Jeff Menzel led the Gauchos with 26.5 points and 22 kills while Cullen Irons added 15 kills and three aces in the loss. Frank Fritsch led the way for the UCSD, collecting a match high 27 kills on 49 attacks. Will Ehrman and Cyrus Kiani totaled 17 and 14 kills, respectively.
The Gauchos nearly picked off their first win of the year on Wednesday (1/13) versus Long Beach State thanks to a double-double effort from Irons (21 kills, 10 digs). The Gauchos jumped out to a 2-1 lead but mustered just a .083 hitting percentage in the fourth set before being undone by LBSU's Dan Alexander's four service aces in the final frame. Game scores were 23-30, 30-24, 24-30, 30-26, and 15-9 in favor of the 49ers.
Menzel collected his 1,082nd career kill in the effort against LBSU, moving him into 10th place all-time in program history. He needs just 52 more kills to catch Rob Treahy (1994-97) and move into ninth place all-time. His 55 attacks against the 49ers also moved him into ninth place all-time in career attacks with 2,406 total.
"We're playing really well, but the results just haven't been there," said Menzel, "We need to finish what we start and not feel the pressure down the stretch."
Saturday's match starts at 7 p.m.
This season, fans have several options to purchase men's volleyball tickets. Online sales are through Ticket Return. Just go to UCSBgauchos.com, roll over "Tickets" and then click on "Buy Now Print From Home". Than click on the Men's Volleyball section. 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. You can follow each point and see player statistics and bios.