Gauchos Prepare for Bruins

Feb. 8, 2011

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• The Schedule
Wednesday, February 9 at 7 p.m. at Pauley Pavillion No. 7 UC Santa Barbara (6-5, 4-4) at No. 5 UCLA (7-5, 2-4) Friday, February 11 at 7 p.m. at Rob Gym No. 5 UCLA (7-5, 2-4) at No. 7 UC Santa Barbara (6-5, 4-4) Series record vs. the Bruins- 30-116 Streak- Won 1 2010 Series- UCLA 2-0 2011 Series- UCSB 1-0 Last time out vs. the Bruins- W, 3-1

Thursday, February 17, 2011 at 7 p.m.. at Rob Gym Friday, February 18, 2011 at 7 p.m. at Rob Gym No. 7 UC Santa Barbara (5-4, 3-3) vs. No. 2 BYU (6-3, 3-2) Series record vs. the Cougars- 18-29 Streak- Lost 4 2010 Series- BYU 2-0 2011 Series- BYU 1-0 Last time out vs. the Cougars- L, 3-1

• Can't Make it to the Court?
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.

• The Week in Review
After splitting two home matches against USC (L) and Pepperdine (W), the Gauchos traveled to tropical Hawai'i for a two-game series. UCSB dropped the first match 3-1, though they had one of their most impressive statistical performances of the year. Four Gauchos recorded double-digit kills, including a match-high 19 from Cullen Irons, 15 from Jeff Menzel, a career-high 13 from Dylan Davis, and 12 from Trey Valbuena. Scott Slaughter didn't lag far behing, tallying 9 kills.. The Gauchos avenged their loss on Friday night, winning one of the tighest matches of the year. Menzel's team-high 15 kills made the difference in a match the Gaachos won in straight sets despite each game being tied as late as 22-22.

• Killing Them Softly
The Gauchos boast one of the top attacking duos in the country in seniors Jeff Menzel and Cullen Irons. Both find themselves in the top 10 in the MPSF in kills per set. Irons, an opposite, is 7th in the conference with 4.03 kills per game. Menzel, an outside hitter, sits at tenth with 3.83 kills per set. The duo had an especially strong week at Hawai'i, racking up 30 kills apiece over two matches. UCSB is one of only two schools to have two players in the top 10, defending National Champions Stanford being the other.

• Broken Streak
UCSB's loss to Hawai'i last Wednesday was the first of their MPSF matches to not end in straight sets. The Gauchos have still not seen a fifth set this year.

• An Old Rivalry Renewed
The Gauchos and the UCSB Bruins have one of the oldest rivalries in collegiate volleyball- as the two teams have lined up against one another 146 times. Though the Bruins have had the upper hand in the series lately, the Gauchos handed the Bruins their first loss of the 2011 season on their way to a second-place finish in the Gaucho Collegiate Invitiational. Jeff Menzel led the Gauchos with 18 kills in that match.

• Great Scott
Senior middle blocker Scott Slaughter has been one of the most consistent Gaucho players thus far. Though enduring a tough stretch in Hawai'i, Slaugter still ranks second in the MPSF with a .504 hitting percentage. Scott has also contributed 30 blocks, good for second on the team behind sophomore middle blocker Dylan Davis. Slaughter's 75 kills place him third on the team behind Menzel and Irons.

• Muy Valbuena
Senior outside hitter Trey Valbuena had a fine week in Hawai'i, accumulating 19 kills over the two matches, his highest output for any two-game stretch this season. His 12 kills last Wednesday were a season-high.

• Digging and Clawing
Senior libero Andy McGuire finds himself climbing the MPSF leaderboard for digs. Ranked ninth just a week ago, Andy now finds himself sixth with a 2.03 digs per game average. McGuire matched his season high with 12 digs last Wednesday against the Rainbow Warriors.

• Conference Killers
UCSB has demonstrated that they have one of the premier attacking games in the country. With team-leader Cullen Irons (141 kills) and Jeff Meff Menzel (138 kills), last year's nationwide leaders in kills receiving set-ups from senior setter Vince Devany, the Gauchos rank second in the MPSF in kills, assists. and hitting percentage. Devany ranks second in the conference in both assists (407) and assists per set (11.63)

• Tickets For All Matches This Season Are Available
Tickets for all matches this season are available by calling 805.893.UCSB, visiting the Ticket Office located inside the Intercollegiate Athletics Building on campus, or buy online and print at home. The Intercollegiate Athletics Ticket Office now has two parking spaces adjacent to the building, making it easier than ever for fans to purchase tickets. The two parking spots, designated specifically for the Ticket Office, are available during weekday hours, which are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.