January 29, 2008

Gauchos Host No. 13 Hawai'i in a Pair of Matches This Week

Jan. 29, 2008

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The Schedule
Friday, February 1, 7 p.m.
UCSB vs. No. 13 Hawai'i
Robertson Gymnasium
Radio: KCSB 91.9 FM
Online Broadcast: kcsb.org
Gametracker: UCSBGauchos.com

Saturday, February 2, 7 p.m.
UCSB vs. No. 13 Hawai'i
Robertson Gymnasium
Online Broadcast: kcsb.org
Gametracker: UCSBGauchos.com

Against Hawai'i
Last Meeting: 2/9/07 at UH
Result: UCSB 3, UH 1 (30-26, 19-30, 30-19, 30-20)
2007 Series: UCSB 2-0
All-Time Series Record: UH leads 39-24
Last UH Win: 1/14/06
Result: UH 3, UCSB 1 (36-34, 28-30, 30-28, 30-21)
Current Streak: UCSB two wins

Several Matches to be Broadcast by KCSB
Starting with the Jan. 25 tilt against Stanford, KCSB will begin live broadcasts of select matches. You can either tune in to 91.9 FM or listen to the online broadcast at KCSB.org. The double-header against Hawai'i Feb. 1-2 will 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 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 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.

`Chos Pick Up First MPSF Victory With Straight Set Win Over Pacific
UCSB finally got over the hump Jan. 26 and picked up its first MPSF victory with a three-game sweep over Pacific at Robertson Gym. Scores were 30-26, 30-21, and 30-22. The win upped UCSB's overall record to 2-6 and the Gauchos are now 1-4 in the MPSF. Pacific continued to struggle and fell to 0-8 overall and 0-6 in conference match-ups. UCSB was solid on the attack, posting a .346 hitting percentage to Pacific's .061. The Gaucho middles played a strong match, out-blocking the Tigers 11.5 to 5.0. For the first time this season, freshman Jeff Menzel did not lead the Gauchos in kills. That honor went to senior middle blocker Theo Brunner, who finished with a match-high 12 kills while hittng .478 (12-1-23). Menzel wasn't far behind as he posted 11 kills and added five blocks, a match co-high along with Sam Moisenco. Moisenco also had six kills and no errors in 11 swings for a .545 attack percentage. Mike Fisher led all players with 10 digs. For Pacific, Pekka Seppanen led with 10 kills, but he hit just .182 (10-6-22). Jason Borchin had nine kills and nine errors, while Blake Gentry and Jeff Hendershot each put down six kills. Seppanen had a team-best nine digs. It was the second time this season that the Gauchos topped the Tigers as they took a 3-1 victory during UCSB's annual Elephant Bar Restaurant Collegiate Invitational in early January. The two teams will meet in another MPSF tilt on Feb. 9 in Stockton.

Menzel's 21 Kills Not Enough as Gauchos Get Swept by Stanford
Jeff Menzel did his part by pounding a match-high 21 kills, but it wasn't enough as sixth-ranked Stanford swept the Gauchos in MPSF men's volleyball action last night at Robertson Gymnasium. Game scores were 30-28, 30-26, and 30-26. Santa Barbara dropped to 1-6 overall and remained winless in the MPSF at 0-4, while the Cardinal improved to 6-3 and 3-3. Stanford was defeated in straight sets at Cal State Northridge Thursday, and it used the loss as motivation to come out firing against the Gauchos. For the match, the Cardinal hit a blistering .414 as a team with 61 kills and just 13 errors in 116 attack attempts. Stanford hit .514 (22-4-35) in game three alone. Menzel hit .341 with six miscues in 44 swings. He also added a service ace, three digs, two blocks, and a match-best 23.5 points. Senior middle blocker Theo Brunner provided another bright spot for the Gauchos, posting eight kills with zero errors in 11 attempts (.727). As a team, UCSB swung at .280. Stanford had three players total 10 or more kills. Both Matt Ceran and Evan Romero had 17, while Jesse Meredith added 13. Meredith hit .522 and was followed closely by Ceran at .517. Defensively, Jarod Keller tallied a match-high 12 digs.

Menzel on the Move
True freshman Jeff Menzel has continued to lead the Gaucho offense this season. He has posted team-high kill and attempt totals in seven of eight matches. Originally slated to play outside, Menzel has now moved to opposite hitter. He currently leads the team in total kills, kills per game, and service aces. He's also second in total blocks. Senior Theo Brunner began the season at opposite, but was shifted back to his primary middle blocker spot for the Cal State Northridge match Jan. 19. Brunner is the only Gaucho to total more kills in a match than Menzel this season as he had 12 (Menzel had 11) against Pacific Jan. 26. Brunner was an AVCA First Team All-American at middle blocker last season.

Devany Will Not Redshirt the 2008 Season
Freshman setter Vince DeVany made his collegiate debut Jan. 26 against Pacific at Rob Gym. Originally scheduled to redshirt the 2008 season, Devany dressed against the Tigers and recorded his first career kill on his first career attempt. He also added four assists in the win. Devany and opposite Jeff Menzel are the only true freshman that have seen the floor so far for the Gauchos. Ben Douglas, Blaine Nielsen, Jordan Nuni, Jake Scalise, and Alex Williams are still scheduled to redshirt this year.

Fisher Back in the Rotation
Senior outside Mike Fisher has played in UCSB's last five matches (and started the last three) after missing the first four (including the exhibition against Alberta) with a right arm problem. His first action was at Pepperdine Jan. 9. Fish has already made an impact with multiple kills in all but one of the matches, including a season-high eight at USC. On Jan. 26, he posted a career-best 10 digs in a win over Pacific.

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 a pair 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 as a libero. 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).

-- UCSBGauchos.com --

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