Gauchos Travel South to Take On Long Beach State, UC San Diego

Feb. 10, 2010

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -

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The Schedule
Friday February 12, 2010 at 7 p.m.
No. 10 UC Santa Barbara (4-7, 4-4) vs. No. 6 Long Beach State (5-4, 4-2)
at Walter Pyramid (5,000)
Series record vs. the 49ers - 44-38
Streak - Lost 4
2009 Series - Long Beach State won 2-1
Last time out vs. the 49ers - L, 3-2 (1/13/10)

Saturday, February 13, 2010 at 7 p.m.
No. 10 UC Santa Barbara (4-7, 4-4) vs. No. 13 UC San Diego (3-7, 1-5)
at RIMAC Arena (5,000)
Series record vs. the Tritons - 24-6
Streak - Won 1
2009 Series - UC San Diego won 2-0
Last time out vs. the Tritons - W, 3-2 (1/16/10)

• Tickets For All Matches This Season Are Available
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 click on "Buy Now Print From Home." Then 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 hour 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.

• You Makin' a Pass at Me?
After a pair of 29-kill performances in last week's five-set losses to No. 7 Pepperdine and No. 2 USC, junior Jeff Menzel now has 1,249 total kills for his career, giving him the seventh-most kills in UCSB program history. He passed Jose Gandara's (1986-89) mark of 1,246 in the fifth set versus USC and needs just 78 more kills to surpass David Rottman (1985-88) for sixth-best all-time.

• Shouldering the Load
Jeff Menzel's arm has shown a lot of stamina this season so far as he has taken far more swings than any other Gaucho. He has amassed 598 total attacks this season, giving him 2,775 total for his career. This mark is sixth-best in program history. Menzel needs just 21 attack attempts to pass Amaury Velasco (1993-96) to move into fifth place all-time. His 69 attack attempts against USC (2/5) set a new season high.

• In the Ranks
Junior middle blocker Scott Slaughter has been fairly dependable when being set this season, posting a .480 (75-15-125) total hitting percentage through 28 sets played. His mark is currently fourth-best in the MPSF. Slaughter twice led his team in accuracy this week, posting a .364 (12-4-22) mark against Pepperdine (2/3) and a .619 (14-1-21) clip against USC (2/5). Slaughter's 14 kills, seven blocks, and 18.0 total points set season-highs for the Newport Beach native. In his recent performance against Pacific (1/29), Slaughter connected on 10 of his 12 swing attempts with no errors (.833), tying him for the sixth-highest hitting percentage in a single match in UCSB program history. Brian Nordberg also hit .833 on March 8, 2001 against Penn State at Rob Gym.

• Vincenzo the Disher
Junior setter Vince Devany has dished out an MPSF-best 645 assists this season, 92 more than the next closest player, Cal State Northridge's Matt Stork (553). His 12.90 assists per set average is fifth best in the conference. Devany had 61 passes that resulted in kills against USC (2/5) after setting a season high with 68 total assists against Pepperdine (2/3). He has recorded 60 or more assists in eight matches this season.

• Gauchos Shacked by Waves in Five
The Gauchos could not hold on to a two-set lead, falling to Pepperdine, 3-2 last Wednesday night at Rob Gym. Set scores were 23-30, 26-30, 30-22, 30-28, and 15-13 in favor of the Waves. UCSB got off to a hot start, hitting .352 over the first two sets to take the early 2-0 lead, but would drop the next three largely due to a consistent .373 team hitting percentage by Pepperdine the rest of the way. Jeff Menzel hit a season-high .364 (29-9-55), while adding seven digs and 32.5 total points. Cullen Irons followed with 21 kills, while Slaughter had 12 kills while matching Menzel's hitting percentage at .364 (12-4-22). Vince Devany had a season-high 68 assists. For Pepperdine, five players finished with double-digit kill totals, led by Maurice Torres' 18. UCSB has not beaten Pepperdine since 2006.

• USC Holds Off Gauchos at the `Dome
The Gauchos fought back from a 2-1 deficit but could not overcome USC, falling to the Trojans, 3-2, in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation play Friday (2/5) night at the Thunderdome. Set scores were 30-27, 22-30, 30-24, 26-30, and 15-10 in favor of USC. Scott Slaughter led the way, posting a .619 (14-1-21) hitting percentage and seven blocks with 18.0 total points - both season-highs. Jeff Menzel had 29 kills, six digs and racked up a season-high 33.5 total points on the night. Cullen Irons contributed 17 kills, eight digs, five blocks and 20.0 points. Tony Ciarelli led USC with 18 kills, nine digs and 19.5 points. Murphy Troy followed with 16 kills, five digs and a team-best seven blocks.

• Five Set Blues
The Gauchos are now 1-6 this season in matches that have gone five sets. In four of those matches, UCSB has held the lead with a chance to close out the match. Its lone five-set win on the season came against UC San Diego on 1/16. The Gauchos are now 4-12 in five-set matches dating back to January 2009.

• This Season Against the 49ers
The Gauchos have faced Long Beach State twice this season, losing in five sets on both occasions. On January 7, Jeff Menzel launched a season-high 31 kills, but the Gauchos could not hold onto a 2-1 advantage during the first round of the Santa Barbara Invitational at Rob Gym, falling to the 49ers 30-28, 25-30, 25-30, 30-28, and 15-10. In their contest on January 13, the Gauchos fell to the 49ers 23-30, 30-24, 24-30, 30-26, and 15-9 in the MPSF season-opener. Freshman Dylan Davis hit .688 (11-0-16) while Andy McGuire had a career-high 22 digs.

• You See San Diego?
UCSB is 1-1 this season against UC San Diego. In their first contest of the season, the Tritons defeated the Gauchos 3-2 in the seventh-place match of the Santa Barbara Invitational Tournament (1/8). Set scores were 30-22, 30-27, 29-31, 26-20, and 15-11 in favor of UCSD. The Gauchos got their first win of the season a week later, beating the Tritons on 1/16 by set scores of 26-30, 30-24, 27-30, 30-27, and 15-13. Jeff Menzel had 25 kills and Cullen Irons added 14 more as the Gauchos out-hit UCSD .329 to .252.

• BE Great
In 2009, UCSB Athletics unveiled the BE Great initiative. BE Great is dedicated to maximizing leadership ability, strong on-campus interaction, and general welfare for all 450 student-athletes and Intercollegiate Athletics staff at UC Santa Barbara. BE Great also focuses on personal and career development, diversity and social awareness, and ensuring academic success.