No. 9 Gauchos Take Show to East Coast to Face Harvard

Feb. 23, 2010

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• The Schedule
Thursday, February 25, 2010 at 4 p.m.
No. 9 UC Santa Barbara (6-8) vs. Harvard (0-6)
at Malkin Athletic Center
Series record vs. the Crimson - 1-0
Streak - Won 1
2009 Series - None
Last time out vs. the Crimson - W, 3-0 (3/23/98)

Friday, February 26, 2010 at 5 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara (6-8) vs. Springfield College (8-4)
at Blake Arena
Series record vs. the Pride - 2-0
Streak - Won 2
2009 Series - None
Last time out vs. the Pride - W, 1979

Saturday, February 27, 2010 at T.B.D.
UC Santa Barbara (6-8) vs. George Mason (3-6) or Ohio State (9-5)
at Blake Arena

•Eastbound and Down
The No. 9 UC Santa Barbara men's volleyball team will travel to Cambridge, Mass. to play Harvard on February 25 before busing to Springfield College on February 26 to take on the Pride in the opening round of the 2010 Volleyball Hall of Fame Morgan Classic. The winner of the UCSB-Springfield College match will take on the winner of George Mason-Ohio State for the tournament championship at 5 p.m. on February 27. The losers will face eachother for the consolation prize at 3 p.m. on February 27. Besides four exciting top-level volleyball matches, this weekend also offers two different clinics; one for players and one for coaches. UCSB's Rick McLaughlin, George Mason's Fred Chao, Ohio State's Pete Hanson, and Springfield Head Coach Charlie Sullivan will be in charge of directing the players clinic, while Sean MacDonald from Frontier Regional High School will run the coaches' clinic.

• The Competition
UCSB has not lost to any team in the 2010 Volleyball Hall of Fame Morgan Classic in program history. It is 6-0 all-time against Ohio State, 6-0 againt George Mason, and 2-0 vs. Springfield College. The third-ranked team in Division III, Springfield has won its last five contests and boasts an 8-4 overall record. The Pride's AJ Nally leads the team in kills (143) and digs (112), while Greg Falcone leads the nation with 2.05 blocks per set. For George Mason, Andrew Dentler leads the way for the Patriots with a 5.08 kills/set average. George Mason has lost four straight and, for the past two seasons, has lost in the Classic's Championship match. Ohio State has won eight of the last nine matches and stands at 9-5 on the season. Shawn Sangrey and John Klanac, who have combined for 302 kills through 13 matches, pace the No. 13 Buckeyes. UCSB comes into the tournament as the highest rated Division I school at No. 9.

• Number One Stunna'
Jeff Menzel is making a name for himself across the country, as his 5.52 kills per set ranks as the highest mark in the nation. He currently leads the nation with 342 total kills in 62 sets played and is seventh all-time in UCSB program history with1,619 total kills. He has led the Gauchos in kills in 13 matches so far this season. Twelve times he has led UCSB in attack attempts.

•Struggles At Home Continue Against UCLA
The Gauchos continue to struggle at Rob Gym this season, dropping to 1-7 on the year on their home floor after a 3-1 loss to No. 3 UCLA on Feb. 17. Set scores were 30-28, 30-25, 19-30, and 30-24 in favor of the Bruins. Sam Moisenco paced the Gauchos with a .615 hitting percentage, connecting on nine of 13 attack attempts with only a single error. Cullen Irons and Todd Travis had 11 kills apiece, with Irons also adding seven digs. Vince Devany dished out 57 assists while libero Andy McGuire scooped a match-high 11 digs. For the Bruins, Garrett Muagututia had a match-high 18 kills and 21.5 total points. Jack Polales finished with 11 kills and four blocks. Ten different bruins notched a kill on the night, as UCLA out-hit UCSB .228 to .222.

• Art of the Debut
Todd Travis made the most of his debut for the Gauchos against then-No. 6 UCLA on February 17. The junior transfer from Walnut Creek entered the match in the third set against the Bruins, providing a solo block on his very first point of his Gaucho career. He finished with a .222 hitting average (11-5-27) along with two digs, two blocks, an ace, and 13.5 total points.

• The `Goose' is Loose
Redshirt freshman Grant Gosswiller, affectionately called "Goose" by his teammates and fans, logged his first offensive statistics as a Gaucho on Feb. 17 against UCLA. He conected on five of nine swing attempts (.333) and scooped three digs. Gosswiller had previously seen action in six sets for the Gauchos prior to Feb. 17, but had only managed three service errors while in action.

• Can't Tear Down This Wall
The Gauchos currently lead the MPSF by limiting their conference oppenents to just a .259 hitting percentage. Middle blockers Sam Moisenco and Scott Slaughter have combined for 104 blocks on the season, with freshman middle blocker Dylan Davis contributing 35 blocks.

• 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 UCSB gauchos.com, roll over "Tickets", and then 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 our prior to the start of the match. Individual match ticket prices are $7 for adults, $5 for seniors, and $3 for youths. UCSB studnets are free

• 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.

• 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.

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