Gauchos Set for No. 2 BYU
Feb. 16, 2011
Thursday, February 17, 2011 at 7 p.m.. at The Thunderdome
Friday, February 18, 2011 at 7 p.m. at The Thunderdome
No. 4 UC Santa Barbara (8-5, 6-4) vs. No. 2 BYU (10-3, 6-2)
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
Friday, February 25, 2011 at 7 p.m. in Stockton, California
No. 4 UC Santa Barbara (8-5, 6-4) at No. 15 Pacific (6-7, 2-5)
Series record vs. the Tigers- 21-10
Streak- Won 11
2010 Series- UCSB 2-0
Last time out vs. the Tigers- W, 3-0
CHANGE OF VENUE
For this week's matches (Thursday, Feb 17 and Friday, Feb 18 vs BYU), the teams will be playing at the Thunderdome. Rob Gym is unavailable due to a leaky roof coupled with anticipated rain later in the week.
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 a series against Hawai'i the week before, the Gauchos returned to the mainland for a home-and-home series against the fifth-ranked UCLA Bruins. At UCLA's Pauley Pavillion, UCSB senior outisde hitter Jeff Menzel paced all players with 17 kills, while senior outside hitter Trey Vabluena and senior opposite Cullen Irons chipped in 10 more apiece. Senior setter Vince Devany also recorded a season-high 5 blocks, which tied him with senior middle blocker Scott Slaughter for the match lead. The Gauchos took the first match 3-1. Returning to Rob Gym, the Gauchos completed the season sweep of the Bruins in winning 3-1. Menzel once again led all players with 18 kills. He also chipped in a critical service ace to go along with three more aces from Slaughter. The win marked the first time that the Gauchos have defeated the Bruins five times in a single season.
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. Menzel, an outside hitter, is 8th in the conference with 3.93 kills per game. Irons, an opposite, sits at ninth with 3.88 kills per set. UCSB is one of only two schools to have two players in the top 10, defending National Champions Stanford being the other.
Especially Strong Week From Menzel
UCSB senior outside hitter, who led the nation in kills last year, had an especially strong week against the UCLA Bruins. Jeff recorded 35 kills over the two-match series (17 and 18 kills respectively). Those 35 kills marked his highest two-match output of the season. Jeff had led the Gauchos in kills for the past three matches.
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 .489 hitting percentage. Scott has also contributed 41 blocks, good for second on the team behind sophomore middle blocker Dylan Davis's 42 blocks. Slaughter's 87 kills place him third on the team behind Menzel and Irons.
After a relatively quiet start to the season, senior outside hitter Trey Valbuena seems to have found his niche in the Gaucho attack. Trey had a fine week in Hawai'i, accumulating 19 kills over the two matches, his highest output for any two-game stretch this season. He has recorded atleast 7 kills in the past four matches, and has reached double-digit kills in two of his last four matches.
UCSB has demonstrated that they have one of the premier attacking games in the country. With Cullen Irons (167 kills) and team-leading Jeff Meff Menzel (173 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 (497) and assists per set (11.76). Devany is just three assists away from recording 500 assists for the third consecutive year. Vince has recorded atleast 489 assists in all four of his years at UCSB.
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.