February 28, 2006

No. 8 UCSB Has Won Three Straight Entering Two-Match Week

Feb. 28, 2006

This Week's Matchups:
Wednesday, March 1, 7:05 p.m.
No. 8 UC Santa Barbara vs. No. 5 Long Beach State
Santa Barbara, Calif.
Robertson Gym

Friday, March 3, 7:05 p.m.
No. 10 UC Santa Barbara vs. UC San Diego
Santa Barbara, Calif.
Roberston Gym

The Skinny
The Gauchos enter the week with a 9-8 overall record and a 6-6 mark in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. UCSB is in the midst of a three-game winning streak after beating Cal Baptist in the Gauchos' lone game last week. The week before, UCSB upset then-No. 2 Pepperdine in a five-game match at Robertson Gym, then traveled to USC and beat the Trojans on their home floor.

Scouting the Opponents
No. 5 Long Beach State enters Wednesday's match with a 12-5 overall record while their 7-4 conference mark places them in fifth in the MPSF, one spot ahead of the Gauchos who are tied with UCLA in sixth. The 49ers are coming off a sweep over UCLA, a victory that ended a three-game losing skid. Long Beach is led by All-American candidates Tyler Hildebrand and Robert Tarr. Hildebrand currently ranks second in the nation in assists, averaging 13.65, while Tarr's 5.56 kills per game average is fourth in the nation.

UC San Diego enters the week at 1-14 overall and 0-11 in the MPSF. Last time the two teams met, UCSB swept the Tritons on their home court 30-24, 30-23, 30-24, on Feb. 2. UCSD is coming off three-game losses to UCLA and UC Irvine last week. The Tritons are led by John Daze and Chris Dayers who average 2.74 kills per game, respectively

Patak Yourself on the Back
Junior opposite Evan Patak has calmly positioned himself as one of the best players in the nation this year. Patak, a 2005 All-American, is currently third in the NCAA with 5.57 kills per game, third in kills per game at .632 and second in points with a 6.47 per game average.

Berm, Baby Berman
Junior outside hitter Bryan Berman recorded 20 kills in Friday's four-game win over Cal Baptist, raising his kills per game average to 2.79, second-best on the team. Berman's .341 hitting percentage is also second on the team to sophomore middle blocker Theo Brunner's .439 clip, which is 11th best in the NCAA.