No. 12 Gauchos Face Tough Week With No. 4 USC and No. 2 Pepperdine

April 1, 2009

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The Schedule
Wednesday, Apr. 1, 7 p.m.
No. 12 UCSB vs. No. 4 USC
Robertson Gymnasium, Santa Barbara, Calif.
• Tickets available one hour prior to match at Robertson Gymnasium
• Broadcast by KCSB 91.9 FM
• Broadcast online at kcsb.org
• Available on Gametracker

Saturday, Apr. 4, 7 p.m.
No. 12 UCSB vs. No. 2 Pepperdine
Robertson Gymnasium, Santa Barbara, Calif.
• Tickets available online through Ticket Return
Santa Barbara News-Press Kids to College match. All youth 8th grade and under admitted free.
• Available on Gametracker

Against USC
Last Meeting: 2/26/09 at USC Result: USC 3, UCSB 1 (30-20, 21-30, 30-25, 30-18)
2009 Series: USC leads 1-0
2008 Series: Tied 1-1
All-Time Series Record: Tied 45-45
Last UCSB Win: 3/12/08 at UCSB
Result: UCSB 3, USC 0 (30-25, 30-23, 30-27)
Current Streak: USC one win

Against Pepperdine
Last Meeting: 2/28/09 at PEPP
Result: PEPP 3, UCSB 0 (30-24, 36-34, 30-18)
2009 Series: PEPP leads 1-0
2008 Series: PEPP led 2-0
All-Time Series Record: PEPP leads 62-28
Last UCSB Win: 2/15/06 at UCSB
Result: UCSB 3, PEPP 2 (26-30, 30-27, 37-35, 20-30, 15-13)
Current Streak: PEPP seven wins

Order Tickets Online
This season, fans have the option of purchasing men's volleyball tickets for home matches online through Ticket Return. 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. Individual match prices are $7 for adults, $5 for seniors (55 and above), and $3 for youths (ages 4 to 13).

Can't Make it to the Court?
KCSB 91.9 FM, UC Santa Barbara's student station, will once again provide live coverage of select men's volleyball matches on 91.9 FM and online at KCSB.org. Here's the remaining season schedule:
• Apr. 1 vs. USC - 91.9 FM and online at KCSB.org

Can't Make it to the Court? - Part II
UCSB men's volleyball matches can be followed live online for no charge with Gametracker. All home matches and select road contests will be included. Just 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. Gametracker runs on PCs and Macs.

Santa Barbara News-Press Kids to College Matches
The Saturday, Apr. 4 match vs. Pepperdine is designated a Santa Barbara News-Press Kids to College match. All youth (8th grade and under) will be admitted free! The program is designed to give local youth the opportunity to experience the thrill of top-notch collegiate athletics events in person.

Gauchos Take Down Tigers for Third Time This Season
Jake Rosener matched his career-high with 18 kills as UCSB handily swept unranked Pacific on March 27 at the Alex G. Spanos Center. It was the third time this season that the Gauchos, who won by scores of 30-26, 30-22, and 30-25, defeated the Tigers. UCSB dominated offensively, hitting .344 (51-18-96) to the Pacific's .212 (41-20-99). Even when Pacific swung strong at .355 in the third set, Santa Barbara rose to the occasion and hit an impressive .485 in that frame. UCSB out-blocked Pacific 10 to 9 for the match. Aside from Rosener, Jeff Menzel (12) and Cullen Irons (10) each posted double-digit kill totals. Menzel and Scott Slaughter each had five blocks and Mike Runkle had a match-high 10 digs. Splitting time at the setter position, Andy McGuire had 20 assists and Vince DeVany recorded 19. The Tigers were led by Jeff Hendershot's 14 kills. Joe Forbes had five blocks.

Irons' 17 Kills Not Enough at Stanford
Cullen Irons had a team-high 17 kills and added a career-high 14 digs and three blocks, but UCSB fell, 3-1, to Stanford at Maples Pavilion on March 28. Scores were 30-24, 30-19, 23-30, and 30-24 in favor of the Cardinal. Normally consistent outside hitter Jeff Menzel had an off night for UCSB, connecting on only 14 of his 39 total attacks while compiling 11 errors. Jake Rosener and Scott Slaughter added 11 kills apiece. Vince DeVany and Andy McGuire split time at the setter position, contributing 34 and 26 assists, respectively. Garrett Werner led the Cardinal attack, hitting .647, connecting on 11 of his 17 total attacks. Evan Romero had a team-high 19 kills, racking up a .359 hitting percentage on the evening. Kawika Shoji tallied a match-high 57 assists while adding five digs and two blocks. Erik Shoji had a match- high 21 digs.

Spreading it Around
Rare things happened on UCSB's road trip last week. At Pacific, Jake Rosener had a team-high 35 attack attempts. It was the first time all season that Jeff Menzel didn't lead the Gauchos in attempts. The next night at Stanford, Cullen Irons tied Menzel with a team-high 39 swings.

Cullen's Career Night
Cullen Irons got the start at outside vs. Cal Baptist and took full advantage of the opportunity. He established new career-highs with 21 kills, seven blocks, and 24.5 points. He became just the fourth Gaucho to lead the team in points for a single match, joining Jeff Menzel, Jake Rosener, and Scott Slaughter.

Slaughter Returns
After missing two matches due to a right ankle injury, middle Scott Slaughter returned to the lineup against Cal Baptist. He posted nine kills, two assists, three digs, two blocks, and 10 points. Slaughter had started every match prior to his injury.

From Defense to Offense
The Gauchos decided to switch things up for the Cal Baptist match. Andy McGuire, UCSB's primary libero, started at setter in place of Vince DeVany, who had started all previous matches at the position. McGuire finished with an impressive 69 assists while adding two blocks and two points, all career-highs.

Thobe or Not Thobe
Senior Matt Thobe has started UCSB's last five matches at middle blocker. Against Cal Baptist, he recorded a career-best eight kills and a season-high six blocks. In the previous two matches (UCLA, George Mason), Thobe led the Gauchos with three aces in each contest.

Devany Ups His Mark Again
Setter Vince DeVany has been toying with his single match career-high assist total all season. First, he tied it with 60 against BYU (1/30), then broke it with 65 vs. UCSD (2/6). Devany then totaled 69 at UC Irvine (2/11) and 78 against Stanford (2/21). Most recently, he amassed 79 in a four-set win at Hawai'i (3/5).

Menzel Pushing 1,000 Career Kills
Sophomore Jeff Menzel recently established new career-highs with 32 kills and 36.5 points against George Mason. To date, Menzel has 914 career kills (464 in 2009, 450 in 2008) and will be the 11th Gaucho in the history of the program to reach the 1,000-kill benchmark. The last to do it was middle Theo Brunner, who collected 1,163 kills between 2005 and 2008.

One-Armed Bandit
Jeff Menzel's arm has shown a lot of stamina as he has by far taken more swings than any other Gaucho. He has amassed 1,036 attack attempts this season. Second on the list is Jake Rosener with 482, 554 less than Menzel. As a team, UCSB has 2,867 attacks, 36% of those coming by way of Menzel's arm.

Aces High
Jake Rosener dropped in a career-high seven service aces at Pepperdine (2/28), which tied for second on UCSB's single match record list. Evan Patak had seven aces five times between 2006 and 2007. The school record for aces in a match is eight, set by Patak in 2004.

Mountain of Youth
This year's Gaucho squad consists of just two seniors - Mike Runkle and Matt Thobe. There are two juniors, six sophomores, and five freshmen. The recent regular starting lineup features four sophomores (Irons, OH; McGuire, S; Menzel, OH; Slaughter, MB), a junior (Rosener, OPP), and a senior (Thobe, MB). Runkle has been UCSB's primary libero as of late.

Gauchos Ink Two Highly-Touted Recruits
UCSB has received National Letters of Intent from two highly-touted recruits - middle blocker Dylan Davis (Corona del Mar, Calif./Corona del Mar High School) and setter Oliver Deutschman (Pacific Palisades, Calif./Crossroads School) - that will don the blue and gold for the 2010 season. The six-foot-eight Davis is widely considered the nation's top class of 2009 middle blocker and one of the top two recruits at any position. In club ball, Davis' highly-ranked Balboa Bay team won a silver medal in the 17-and-under division at the 2008 Junior Olympics, where Davis was tabbed a First Team All-American. He was also a starter on the U.S. Youth National Team that won gold at the 2008 NORCECA Championships and qualified for the 2009 Youth National World Championships in Italy this coming summer. Heralded as the top setter in the country from the class of 2009, Deutschman won gold at the 2008 Junior Olympics, topping Davis' Balboa Bay squad in the 17-and-under title match. Like Davis, the six-foot-four Deutschman was named a First Team All-American following the tournament. He was also a starter, along with Davis, on the U.S. Youth National Team that won the 2008 NORCECA title and qualified to compete at the 2009 Youth National World Championships in Italy.

BE Great
Earlier this year, 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. UCSB has a 92% student-athlete graduation rate.

Gauchos Give
With the arrival of Mark Massari as Athletics Director in October, UCSB Athletics also launched the Gauchos Give community outreach initiative for all 450 athletes and 20 sports. Gaucho athletes give back to their community through free clinics, helping families during the holidays, providing financial and emotional support during tragedies, and touching the lives of youth.

The Gaucho Way
As a championship-caliber program, UCSB Athletics recognizes the responsibility that goes with it. This simply means all student-athletes, staff, and fans will behave with a champion's approach, creating a safe environment at games and events. All of those who attend, compete, or work at Gaucho events are caretakers of the passionate, exciting, and great experience UCSB is known for. This is "The Gaucho Way."

- UCSBgauchos.com -