12th-Ranked Gauchos Travel to No. 3 UC Irvine Wednesday

Feb. 9, 2009

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THE SCHEDULE
• Wednesday, Feb. 11 - 7 p.m.
• #12 UCSB (3-7, 1-6) at #3 UC Irvine (10-2, 6-1)
• Bren Center - Irvine, Calif.
Gametracker

AGAINST UC IRVINE
• Last Meeting: 1/14/09 at UCSB
• Result: UCI 3, UCSB 1 (30-23, 30-25, 26-30, 30-17)
• 2009 Series: UCI leads 1-0
• 2008 Series: UCI led 3-0
• All-Time Series Record: UCSB leads 43-17
• Last UCSB Win: 1/6/06 at UCSB (E-Bar)
• Result: UCSB 3, UCI 2 (30-24, 30-27, 27-30, 28-30, 15-10)
• Current Streak: UCI eight wins

ORDER TICKETS ONLINE
This season, fans have the option of purchasing men's volleyball tickets online through Ticket Return. 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. Individual match prices are $7 for adults, $5 for seniors (55 and above), and $3 for youths (ages 4 to 13).

CAN'T MAKE IT TO THE COURT
KCSB 91.9 FM, UC Santa Barbara's student station, will once again provide live coverage of select men's volleyball matches on 91.9 FM and online at KCSB.org. Here's the remaining season schedule:

Feb. 20 vs. Pacific - 91.9 FM and online at KCSB.org
Mar. 11 vs. George Mason - 91.9 FM and online at KCSB.org
Apr. 1 vs. USC - 91.9 FM and online at KCSB.org

CAN'T MAKE IT TO THE COURT - PART II
UCSB men's volleyball matches can be followed live online for no charge 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 see player statistics and bios. Gametracker runs on PCs and Macs.

SANTA BARBARA NEWS-PRESS KIDS TO COLLEGE MATCHES
Two matches this season have been designated Santa Barbara News Press Kids to College nights - Friday, Mar. 13 vs. UCLA and Saturday, Apr. 4 vs. Pepperdine. All youth 13 and under will be admitted to these matches free! The program is designed to give local youth the opportunity to experience the thrill of top-notch collegiate athletics events in person. For more information, please call 805.893.UCSB or visit UCSBgauchos.com.

EXCITING COMEBACK BID FALLS SHORT
Despite a thrilling comeback from two sets down, UCSB fell short, losing 3-2 against UC San Diego at the Thunderdome on Feb. 6. Scores were 30-22, 30-24, 30-32, 23-30, and 15-13. It was just the third time in 26 meetings that the Gauchos lost to the Tritons. UCSB's Jeff Menzel led the match in kills with 25, notching nine of those in the third set. Setter Vince DeVany's 65 assists and middle blocker Scott Slaughter's 10 blocks were both career-highs. UCSD's Frank Fritsch led the team in kills with 23, while libero Eric Leserman had a match-high 17 digs. An impressive .727 hitting percentage in the final set sealed the victory for the Tritons.

LONG BEACH SWEEPS GAUCHOS AT THUNDERDOME
A career-high 14 kills from Scott Slaughter wasn't enough as UCSB was swept by Long Beach State on Feb. 7. Scores went 30-28, 30-20, and 36-34 at the Thunderdome. Slaughter's solid outing also included a .632 hitting percentage, an assist, an ace, two digs, and six blocks. He established a second career-high with 18.5 points. Jake Rosener had 10 kills and seven digs, while Blaine Nielsen and Trey Valbuena each tallied seven kills. Dean Bittner led LBSU in kills with a match-high 15. Tommy Pestolesi had 11 kills and Josh Riley added ten. Libero Dustin Watten recorded 13 digs and Dan Alexander had six blocks. Setter Mike Klipsch totaled 39 assists as he led the 49ers to a .326 attack percentage for the match.

HOMETOWN BUFFET
UCSB has played eight of its ten matches at home, with a record of 3-5. The Gauchos are 0-2 in their only road matches (UCLA, CSUN). Following this week's match at UC Irvine, Pacific and Stanford come to Santa Barbara before the Gauchos begin their longest road swing of the season (four matches).

UTILITY MAN
Senior Mike Runkle came into the UCSD match to play libero when Andy McGuire was moved to setter. He totaled a season-high 11 digs over four sets. The next night against LBSU, Runkle started at libero as McGuire suffered an injury in the UC San Diego match. A versatile player, Runkle has seen time at setter, outside hitter, and now libero during his UCSB career.

ARE THESE STATS RIGHT?
Jeff Menzel had led UCSB in kills and points in all nine matches prior to last week's tilt against Long Beach. In two sets vs. the 49ers, Menzel posted a season-low five kills and 5.5 points, well off his average of 5.47 kills and 6.11 points per set. In fact, it was the first time that Menzel didn't post double figure kill totals. He was consistent in one stat, however. With 22 attack attempts vs. LBSU, he has led UCSB in that category in all 10 matches to date.

SLAUGHTER STEPS UP
Middle Scott Slaughter had a career night in the loss against Long Beach. His 14 kills and 18.5 points were both career-bests. They were also team-highs, making Slaughter the only Gaucho besides Jeff Menzel to lead the team in either category all season. The night before against UC San Diego, Slaughter totaled a career-high 10 blocks.

MPSlaughterF
Scott Slaughter continues to lead the MPSF in attack percentage in all matches (.512) and in league matches only (.534).

SEASON-HIGHS GALORE
As a team, UCSB posted several season-highs against UC San Diego including: kills (74), attempts (162), assists (71), digs (48), and blocks (22.5). Individually, Vince DeVany's 65 assists and Scott Slaughter's 10 blocks were the most recorded by any Gaucho this season.

RACKIN' UP THE HELPERS
Setter Vince DeVany tied his career-high in assists (60) two weeks ago vs. BYU and then broke it with 65 helpers vs. UC San Diego last week. With his 12.69 assists per set average, Devany ranks fifth in the MPSF. The sophomore has 984 career assists.

ONE-ARMED BANDIT
Jeff Menzel's arm has shown a lot of stamina as he has by far taken more swings than any other Gaucho. He has amassed 447 attack attempts this season. Second on the list is Jake Rosener with 198, which is 249 less than Menzel. As a team, UCSB has 1223 attacks, almost 40% of those coming by way of Menzel's arm. For his career, Menzel has 1439 attempts. He'll need 524 more to break into UCSB's top-ten list.

MENZEL TURNS 600
With a career-high 29 kills vs. BYU on Jan. 31, Jeff Menzel surpassed 600 career kills (he had 599 entering the match). To date, the sophomore has 658 kills and needs 289 more to crack UCSB's top-ten list.

NIELSEN RATINGS
Freshman Blaine Nielsen continues to make an impact. He's started UCSB's last three matches and posted several career-highs against UC San Diego including kills (11), blocks (8), and points (15).

MOUNTAIN OF YOUTH
This year's Gaucho squad consists of just two seniors - outside hitter Mike Runkle and middle blocker Matt Thobe. There are two juniors, six sophomores, and five freshmen. The recent regular starting lineup features a freshman (Nielsen, OH), four sophomores (Menzel, OH; Slaughter, MB; Devany, S; McGuire, LIB) and a pair of juniors (Moisenco, MB; Rosener, OPP).

MMMMMM, DOUBLE-DOUBLE
With 12 kills and a career-high 10 blocks vs. UC San Diego on Feb. 6, Scott Slaughter posted the first, and only, double-double by a Gaucho so far this season.

IRONS MAN
Cullen Irons got his third career start (and first of the season) in the first match against BYU, and he didn't disappoint. The sophomore posted career-highs in kills (16), digs (7), and points (18) while hitting .300 and posting four blocks.

VALBUENA BUENO
Trey Valbuena missed three matches with a left ankle sprain but returned off the bench in the first match vs. BYU. Valbuena started the first three matches of the season and posted most of his career-highs against Pacific on Jan. 9.

FIVE ALIVE
UCSB had not taken part in a five-set match this season until BYU came to town and both matches went long. In fact, three of UCSB's last four contests have gone to five sets (UCSD, 2/6). The Gauchos are 1-2 in those matches.

GAUCHOS INK TWO HIGHLY-TOUTED RECRUITS
UCSB has received National Letters of Intent from two highly-touted recruits - middle blocker Dylan Davis (Corona del Mar, Calif./Corona del Mar High School) and setter Oliver Deutschman (Pacific Palisades, Calif./Crossroads School) - that will don the blue and gold for the 2010 season. The six-foot-eight Davis is widely considered the nation's top class of 2009 middle blocker and one of the top two recruits at any position. In club ball, Davis' highly-ranked Balboa Bay team won a silver medal in the 17-and-under division at the 2008 Junior Olympics, where Davis was tabbed a First Team All-American. He was also a starter on the U.S. Youth National Team that won gold at the 2008 NORCECA Championships and qualified for the 2009 Youth National World Championships in Italy this coming summer. Heralded as the top setter in the country from the class of 2009, Deutschman won gold at the 2008 Junior Olympics, topping Davis' Balboa Bay squad in the 17-and-under title match. Like Davis, the six-foot-four Deutschman was named a First Team All-American following the tournament. He was also a starter, along with Davis, on the U.S. Youth National Team that won the 2008 NORCECA title and qualified to compete at the 2009 Youth National World Championships in Italy.

THE GAUCHO WAY
As a championship-caliber program, UCSB Athletics recognizes the responsibility that goes with it. This simply means all student-athletes, staff, and fans will behave with a champion's approach, creating a safe environment at games and events. All of those who attend, compete, or work at Gaucho events are caretakers of the passionate, exciting, and great experience UCSB is known for. This is "The Gaucho Way."

- UCSBgauchos.com -