No. 10 UCSB Aims for Upset of No. 3 CSUN Wednesday Night at Rob Gym
March 9, 2010
Wednesday, March 10, 2010 at 7 p.m.
No. 10 UC Santa Barbara (10-9, 7-6) vs. No. 3 Cal State Northridge (13-6, 10-6)
at Rob Gym
Series record vs. the Matadors - 42-34
Streak - Lost 7
2009 Series - CSUN won 3-0
Last time out vs. the Matadors - L, 3-1 (1/7/10)
Saturday, March 13, 2010 at 7 p.m.
No. 10 UC Santa Barbara (10-9, 7-6) at No. 2 Pepperdine (10-5, 9-4)
at Firestone Fieldhouse
Series record vs. the Waves - 32-59
Streak - Lost 9
2009 Series - Pepperdine won 2-0
Last time out vs. the Waves - L, 3-2 (2/5/10)
Gauchos Indulge on Anteaters
With its 3-1 victory over defending national champion, No. 11 UC Irvine, last Wednesday night at Recreation Center Main Gym, the Gauchos clinched their first regular-season series sweep of UCI since 2001. Set scores were 33-31, 30-28, 27-30, and 30-24 in favor of UCSB. Santa Barbara previously beat UCI 3-1 on Jan. 22 at the Bren Events Center. Scott Slaughter and Jake Rosener contributed 14 kills apiece, hitting .520 and .407, respectively. Jeff Menzel led the team with 22 kills, 11 digs, three aces, and a pair of blocks. It marked his third double-double of the season. For UCI, Jordan DuFault had 25 kills on 41 attempts while hitting .407. Carson Clark scooped a match-high 16 digs while connecting on 21 attack attempts. Before this year began, the last time the Gauchos had taken down the Anteaters was in the Santa Barbara Elephant Bar Invitational; on Jan. 6, 2006, when the Gauchos took the match in five sets- 30-24, 30-27, 27-30, 28-30, and 15-10.
And You Thought You Were Perfect...
The career of redshirt freshman Grant Goswiller has spanned only 17 sets, yet the Coto de Caza, Calif. native has already etched his name in the Gaucho history books, becoming only the second player to hit a perfect 1.000 in a single match. Against USC on Mar. 5, Goswiller entered the match in the fourth frame and connected with kills on all five of his attack attempts. The only other UCSB player to record a perfect match is Andy Rivera, who found his mark on all ten of his total attack attempts in a 3-0 sweep of UC San Diego on Feb. 16, 2002. In 17 sets so far this season, Goswiller has 14 kills, 8 digs and is hitting .524.
Welcome to the Menz Club
Sitting in fourth all-time in UCSB annals in terms of career kills, Jeff Menzel is already one of the most prolific outside hitters in Santa Barbara program history. The junior currently leads the country in kills per set with 5.50 and has led his team in kills in 18 of 19 total matches this season. In MPSF competition, Menzel averages 5.43 kills per set and 6.16 points per set- both tops in the conference. He is currently ranked fifth in aces per set (.36) in MPSF play, but his 28 aces so far this season ranks third-best in the country. Menzel recorded a pair of double-doubles in both matches last week, finishing with 22 kills and 11 digs versus UC Irvine on Mar. 3 and 17 kills and 10 digs versus USC on Mar. 5.
Scott Slaughter matched his season-high for kills by racking up 14 kills in each of the Gauchos' matches last week, totaling a .521 hitting percentage for the week. Against UC Irvine on Mar. 3, Slaughter hit .520 (14-1-25), adding two blocks, two digs, and an ace. He followed that performance by hitting .522 (14-2-23) on Friday night versus USC. He also had an ace, six block assists, and two digs. Slaughter is currently ranked No. 25 in the country in blocks per set with 1.16. His .476 total hitting percentage on the year is fifth-best in the MPSF. Slaughter has hit over .500 in eight of the teams' 19 matches on the season.
Trojans Take Season Series
With a 3-1 victory over UCSB on Mar. 5, the Trojans won the regular season series, 2-0, over the Gauchos. Set scores were 26-30, 35-33, 30-24, and 31-29 in favor of USC. Three players had double digit kill totals for the Gauchos, led by Jeff Menzel (17) and Scott Slaughter (14). Menzel also had 10 digs for his third double-double on the year, while Slaughter ended the night with a .523 (14-2-23) hitting percentage. Cullen Irons had 11 kills to go along with eight digs. Vince Devany tallied 60 total assists. For USC, Murphy Troy cannoned a match-high 24 kills while Tony Ciarelli, Steven Shandrick, and Hunter Current each finished with 12 kills. Riley McKibben dished-out a match-high 61 assists.
Tickling the Top Ten
As the tenth-ranked team in the country, it seems fitting the Gauchos are ranked in the top-ten nationally in a variety of statistical categories. UCSB currently averages 15.77 kills per set, fifth best in the nation, largely due to Jeff Menzel, who averages over five of those kills per set. The Gauchos also rank fifth in total assists per set with 14.99. They are 10th in terms of team hitting percentage, hitting at a .297 clip. This week marks the second consecutive week that UCSB has been ranked No. 10 in the AVCA poll.
Who Goes There?
Cal State Northridge is set to visit the Gauchos on Wednesday, Mar. 10, after splitting a pair of matches versus No. 7 Hawai'i. Jason Ratajczak hit .732 with 30 kills on his way to earning MPSF Player of the Week honors. Pepperdine split its pair of matches last week at BYU, falling in four before winning in three. The Gauchos have not beat either team yet this season, having lost 3-1 to CSUN on Jan. 7 in the opening round of the 2010 Santa Barbara invitational and 3-2 vs. Pepperdine on Feb. 3.
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 and is open on Saturdays, making it easier than ever for fans to purchase tickets. The ICA Ticket Office will be open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays. The two parking spots, designated specifically for the Ticket Office, are already available during weekday hours, which are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
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.
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.