Feb. 13, 2006
This Week's Matchups:
Wednesday, February 15, 7:05 p.m.
No. 11 UC Santa Barbara vs. No. 2 Pepperdine
Santa Barbara, Calif.
Saturday, February 18, 7:00 p.m.
No. 11 UC Santa Barbara at No.12 USC
Los Angeles, Calif.
The Gauchos enter the week with a 6-8 overall record and a 4-6 mark in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation after losses to UCLA and Irvine last week. The losses ended a two-game win streak after Santa Barbara swept unranked UC San Diego and UC Santa Cruz the week before. The Gauchos' 4-6 record in the MPSF places them in a seventh-place tie with Saturday's opponent USC. Santa Barbara boasts a 5-4 record at home and a 1-4 record on the road.
Scouting the Opponents
No. 2 Pepperdine enters Wednesday's match at UCSB 7-2 overall and 7-2 in the MPSF. The Waves dropped from the top spot in the AVCA/CSTV Rankings after splitting with Hawaii over the weekend. The week before, Pepperdine split with now top-ranked Brigham Young.
No. 12 USC enters the week having won four of their last six, with their last two games resulting in losses to BYU. The Trojans are 7-6 overall and currently share seventh place in the MPSF with the Gauchos. USC is led by Juan Figueroa who is currently averaging 4.50 kills per game and Joao Grangeiro who averages 3.95 kills per game.
Berm, Baby Berman
Junior outside hitter Bryan Berman has come on strong in the absence of 2005 All-American Evan Patak's absence. In Saturday's 3-1 loss to then No. 3 UC Irvine, Berman led the Gauchos with 21 kills in four games. Berman is currently averaging 3.34 kills per game in MPSF play and his 209 attacks are second on the team to Patak.
Long Distance Brunner
Sophomore middle blocker Theo Brunner's hitting percentage of .457 leads the Gauchos while his 120 total kills is second on the team. As of February 7, Brunner has the sixth-highest hitting percentage in Division I-II.
Klineman Up the Mountain
Freshman setter Max Klineman has been efficient at the set for the Gauchos, averaging 13.35 assists per game. As of Feb. 7, Klineman had the eighth-highest assists per game average.