Gauchos Host a Pair of MPSF Matches - No. 6 Stanford Friday and Pacific Saturday

Gauchos Host a Pair of MPSF Matches - No. 6 Stanford Friday and Pacific Saturday

Jan. 24, 2008

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Friday, Jan. 25, 7 p.m.
UCSB vs. #6 Stanford
Robertson Gymnasium
Coverage: KCSB 91.9 FM,, (Gametracker)

Saturday, Jan. 26, 7 p.m.
UCSB vs. Pacific
Robertson Gymnasium
Coverage: (Gametracker)

Friday's Stanford Match to be Broadcast by KCSB
This Friday's tilt against sixth-ranked Stanford will be broadcast live by KCSB. You can either tune in to 91.9 FM or listen to the online broadcast at The double-header against Hawai'i Feb. 1-2 will also be broadcast live by KCSB with the second match available online only. You can listen online to the Feb. 15 match vs. UC Santa Cruz and the Feb. 20 contest against UCLA will be on the radio as well as online. Other matches may be added in the future.

Track the Matches Online
For the first time ever, UCSB men's volleyball matches can be followed live online with Gametracker. All home matches and select road contests will be included. Just log on to, 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 even view player bios. Gametracker is free of charge and works on PCs and Macs. You just need to have Flash and Java installed and enabled.

UCSB Loses Against CSUN for Second Time in Just Over a Week
UCSB lost its third straight MPSF match as it was defeated 3-1 by Cal State Northridge Jan. 19 at Robertson Gym. Despite a career-high 24 kills from freshman Jeff Menzel, it wasn't enough as the Matadors won by scores of 31-33, 30-28, 30-24, and 30-24. Menzel, a true freshman, added seven digs, three blocks, and a team-high 27.0 points. Theo Brunner, who was moved back to his usual middle blocker position, went for 12 kills and 13.0 points. At the net, Gaucho Sam Moisenco totaled a match-high eight blocks. Northridge got a career-high 26 kills out of Eric Vance. Vance hit well, committing just five errors in 52 swings, good for a match-best .400 attack percentage. Cody Loe chipped in with 11 kills and Mike Gaudino was just behind with 10. UCSB was lethargic on the attack, posting a .163 attack percentage to CSUN's .278. UCSB is now 0-2 against CSUN this season. The Matadors blanked the Gauchos Jan. 4 as part of the Elephant Bar Restaurant Collegiate Invitational.

`Chos Fall to 1-4 After Being Swept by USC in Los Angeles
The No. 11 ranked USC Trojans hit a blistering .429 and out-blocked the 14th-ranked Gauchos 9 to 5.5 en route to a 3-0 blanking Jan. 11 at the Galen Center. Jeff Menzel was the lone Gaucho with 10 or more kills as he posted 15. Scores of the match were 30-23, 30-26, and 30-19. The win snapped a seven-match losing skid against UCSB. The Gauchos, who hit just .210, got nine kills and a .571 attack percentage from Phil Mathews. Mike Fisher added eight kills and setter Mike Runkle ran his assist total to 35. For the Trojans, Murphy Troy had a match-best 15 kills to go along with six digs, while C.J. Schellenberg added 13 kills, five digs, three aces, and three blocks in the winning effort.

Gauchos Open MPSF Season With Loss at No. 2 Pepperdine
The (then) 14th-ranked UC Santa Barbara men's volleyball team opened its 2008 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) season Jan. 9 with a 3-1 loss at No. 2 Pepperdine in Firestone Fieldhouse. Freshman Jeff Menzel led the Gauchos with 23 kills. Scores of the match were 30-26, 30-23, 27-30, and 30-22. Pepperdine (1-0, 1-0) was paced by opposite Paul Carroll, who pounded 30 kills for the fifth time in his career. Setter Jonathan Winder had 55 assists to go with six blocks, four kills, and four digs. UC Santa Barbara (1-3, 0-1) also got 14 kills from Theo Brunner. The 2007 All-American posted a match-high five blocks. Setter Max Klineman had 41 assists.Pepperdine hit .387 compared to .164 for the Gauchos and had a 16-7 edge in blocking. The Waves hit .370 or better in each of the three games they won. The Gauchos hit .333 in game three, but were under .200 in the other three games.

UCSB Goes 1-2, Alberta Wins Elephant Bar Tournament
The Gauchos took seventh place with a 1-2 record at the 44th Annual Elephant Bar Restaurant Collegiate Invitational in Santa Barbara Jan. 4-5. UCSB defeated Pacific in the seventh place match and suffered losses against UC Irvine and Cal State Northridge. Canadian powerhouse Alberta took down Stanford in the championship match. Long Beach State topped Irvine in the consolation, while Northridge finished fifth and USC placed sixth. Stanford was the surprise of the weekend as the Cardinal went in to play as the sixth seed. Named to the all-tourney team from MPSF squads were: Dean Bittner (LBSU), Matt Ceran (Stanford), Kawika Shoji (Stanford), and Anthony Spittle (UCI). Alberta setter Brock Pehar was named the tournament Most Valuable Player.

Preston Will Retire Following the 2008 Season
Ken Preston, easily the winningest coach in UCSB men's volleyball history and one of the winningest active coaches in the nation, will retire following the 2008 season, his 30th as head of the Gaucho program. Preston will remain a member of the UCSB Athletics Department through the end of 2008 and will assist in the search for his successor in the spring. Preston began his UCSB head coaching career in 1979. In his 29 seasons, he has compiled a 506-364 overall record for a winning percentage of .582. He has guided the program to 21 of its 29 seasons of .500 or better, including 19 winning seasons. His teams have qualified for 19 postseason appearances and in 1988, Preston's squad advanced to the NCAA Final Four and then the NCAA Championship match. In 2007, UCSB had one of its most successful seasons in several years with a 20-14 overall record and a 14-8 mark in the MPSF. The Gauchos, who climbed as high as No. 3 in the national rankings, posted a victory over visiting UCLA in the quarterfinals of the MPSF Tournament to cap the campaign. Preston recorded his 500th career win with a victory at IPFW in March. In addition, two players - Theo Brunner and Evan Patak - were named AVCA First Team All-Americans. Prior to coming to UCSB, Preston coached at Cal Poly, Wright State (Dayton, Ohio), and Westmont College in Santa Barbara. In addition to his collegiate experience, Preston has spent extensive time on the international circuit, serving in both head and assistant coach capacities at the Olympics, World Championships, Pan American Games, and the World University Games. A search for Preston's successor will take place in the spring. Preston will be a key member of the committee assigned to select the new coach.

New Mugs on the Coaching Staff
Head coach Ken Preston welcomes several new faces to his 2008 coaching staff. Most recently, Lee Nelson joined the Gauchos as associate head coach. Nelson replaced Aaron Mansfield, who left this summer to try out for the U.S. National Team. Nelson came from Fresno State, where he was the top assistant with the Bulldog women's program. He played at UCSB from 1985-89 and was also an assistant coach under Preston from 1997-99. Lee graduated from UCSB in 1991. He was raised in Santa Barbara and is a 1984 grad of Santa Barbara High School. Ricardo DoMonte was added to the staff during the summer of 2007. A native Brazilian, he coached the UCSB men's volleyball club team to a national championship in 2007. Since 2002, doMonte has served as the Volleyball Director for the Page Youth Center/Santa Barbara Boy's Volleyball Club. He has coached elite level players indoors and on the beach in both Brazil and United States, and has worked at several UCSB volleyball camps.

Gauchos Pick Up Four During Fall Signing Period
UCSB picked up four high school seniors during the 2007 fall signing period. Outside hitters Grant Goswiller, Mark Liebermann, and Matt Townsend, as well as middle blocker/opposite Jake Piva will don the blue and gold for the 2009 season. Goswiller, a 6-foot-3 outside, hails from Coto de Caza, Calif. and Tesoro High School. He has also played club ball for Balboa Bay and OC Riptides. Goswiller was an all-tournament selection at the 2007 Junior Olympics (17 Open) in Atlanta. Outside of volleyball, he was a member of the Lionsheart Community Service Club and the Invisible Children's Club. In the classroom, Goswiller was a three-year Presidential Honor Roll member. Liebermann is from Newport Beach, Calif. and Newport Harbor High School. The 6-foot-5 outside was part of a Balboa Bay Volleyball Club squad that took first place at the 2007 Holiday Classic. Piva, a 6-foot-8 middle/opposite, is from Valencia, Calif. and won a CIF title with Valencia High School, a perennial powerhouse in the Foothill League. With Santa Monica Beach Club, he won a 2007 title in the Open Division and has twice been named all-tourney at Junior Olympics. Townsend is from Granada Hills, Calif. and plays for Chaminade College Prep. A four-year letterwinner, the 6-foot-4 outside has garnered First Team All-Mission League honors. In 2007, he was a member of the Southern California Volleyball Association Regional Team that competed at the Slovenia Global Challenge. Townsend won gold at the 2007 Junior Olympics (17 Open) and silver at the 2006 JOs (16 Open).

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