Gauchos Set to Host UCLA in MPSF Quarterfinal Saturday

April 19, 2007

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The Schedule
Saturday, April 21, 7 p.m.
No. 5 UCSB (fourth seed) vs. No. 4 UCLA (fifth seed)
MPSF Quarterfinal
Robertson Gymnasium
Santa Barbara, Calif.
Live Online Broadcasts: and

Against UCLA
Last Meeting: 2/23/07 at UCLA
Result: UCLA 3, UCSB 1 (30-28, 30-24, 30-32, 30-19)
2007 Series: UCLA leads 2-1
2006 Series: UCLA led 4-0
All-Time Series: UCLA leads 111-27
Last UCSB Win: 1/17/07 at UCSB
Result: UCSB 3, UCLA 2 (31-33, 27-30, 30-28, 30-27, 15-6)
Current Streak: UCLA one win
All-Time MPSF Tournament Series: UCLA leads 3-1

UCSB in the MPSF Tournament
Appearances/Years: 9/2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2002, 1998, 1997, 1996, 1995
Overall Record: 6-8
Play-In Appearances/Years: 1/2006
Play-In Record: 0-1
Quarterfinal Appearances/Years: 8/2007, 2005, 2004, 2002, 1998, 1997, 1996, 1995
Quarterfinal Record: 5-2
Semifinal Appearances/Years: 5/2005, 2002, 1997, 1996, 1995
Semifinal Record: 1-4
Final Appearances/Years: 1/1996
Final Record: 0-1
Record vs. BYU: 1-0
Record vs. Hawai'i: 1-3
Record vs. Long Beach State: 2-2
Record vs. Stanford: 1-0
Record vs. UCLA: 1-3
Record at Robertson Gymnasium: 2-0

2007 MPSF Tournament Match-Ups
Play-In: Wed., April 18 @ CSUN, 7 pm
• #7 CSUN 3, #8 USC 0 (36-30, 30-23, 30-28)

Quarterfinals: Sat., April 21, 7 pm local
• #1 Pepperdine - Bye
• Match 1: #7 CSUN @ #2 BYU
• Match 2: #6 Hawai'i @ #3 UC Irvine
• Match 3: #5 UCLA @ #4 UCSB

Semifinals: Thurs., April 26 @ Pepperdine
• Match 4: Winner match 3 @ #1 PEPP, 5:30 pm
• Match 5: Winner match 1 vs. Winner match 2

Final: Sat. April 28 @ Pepperdine, 7 pm
• Winner match 4 vs. Winner match 5

Patak, Brunner, and Kowalski Earn All-MPSF Honors
Evan Patak and Theo Brunner were named to the All-MPSF First Team, while Bart Kowalski picked up Honorable Mention accolades Thursday. For Patak, it was his third selection as he was a first teamer in 2005 and a second teamer in 2004. The opposite was also tabbed the MPSF Newcomer of the Year in 2004. Brunner was an Honorable Mention selection in 2006 and 2005. Pepperdine setter Jonathan Winder was named the 2007 MPSF Player of the Year, BYU setter Yamil Perez was tabbed the Newcomer of the Year, and Pepperdine's Marv Dunphy won Coach of the Year honors.

Gauchos Finish Regular Season on the Road
UCSB concluded the regular season with a 3-0 win at USC and a 3-1 loss at Pepperdine. Against the Trojans, UCSB hit .489 and made no attack errors until the third game. The win, the fourth in a row for the Gauchos, clinched the home MPSF quarterfinal. Evan Patak posted a match-high 20 kills and 24 points. Theo Brunner had 13 kills and hit .800, while Bryan Berman followed with eight kills and hit .727. Three nights later at Pepperdine, Patak again led all players with 30 kills. The middle tandem of Brunner and David Kennedy were solid, posting 15 and 12 kills, respectively. The Waves won the battle at the net, however, out-blocking the Gauchos 11-7.

Victory Lap
UCSB's 19 wins this season are its most since finishing at 25-13 in 1989. A victory Saturday would give UCSB 20 wins for the 13th time since 1971 and first time since the 1989 campaign. The Gauchos' 14 MPSF wins are the most since 1996 when they were 14-5. In addition, this year's fourth place league finish is UCSB's best since the MPSF went to a single division in 2003. The Gauchos placed second twice (1995, 1996), third once (1997), and fourth once (1998) in the Mountain Division between 1993 and 2002.

Mr. 2000
Evan Patak's match-high 25 kills against Cal State Northridge on April 6 put him over 2,000 for his career. Patak is just the second Gaucho in school history to eclipse the 2,000-kill mark. Donny Harris is UCSB's all-time leader, amassing 2,114 put-aways from 1994 to 1997. Patak entered the contest with 1,987 career kills and collected his 13th of the night off of a Bart Kowalski set in the second game.

Hit Parade
At .366, UCSB is second in the country in attack percentage and led the MPSF, hitting .369 in league matches. The Gauchos are on pace to to set a new single season record for hitting as the current mark is .348, set in 2002. UCSB has hit over .400 13 times and is 18-0 when out-hitting its opponent. Middles Theo Brunner and David Kennedy are ranked nationally, with Brunner fourth (.548) and Kennedy 19th (.417).

Ace (west of) Ventura
UCSB has been dangerous from the service line all season, collecting a single season record 204 aces to date. The Gauchos led the MPSF with an average of 1.84 aces per game. Evan Patak has a school single season record 106 aces this year and continues to lead the nation in that category at .981 per game. The next closest player in total aces is Paul Carroll of Pepperdine, who has 55. Patak and Bryan Berman have accounted for 136 of UCSB's 204 aces this season, 67%.

A Patak on the Back
Two-time All-American Evan Patak has been UCSB's offensive workhorse this season. He is the lone player in the nation with over 600 kills and has accounted for 1,210 of UCSB's 3,360 attempts this season (36%). The next closest Gaucho is Theo Brunner with 533 swings, 677 fewer than Patak. Patak has led UCSB in attempts in all 30 matches and has had double-digit kills in all but two contests. He's put down 30 or more seven times.

On the National Front
Gauchos among the national statistical leaders (all matches):
•Ben Brockman: 19th in digs (2.08)
•Theo Brunner: 4th in hitting (.548)
•David Kennedy: T-19th in hitting (.417)
•Bart Kowalski: 13th in assists (12.28)
•Evan Patak: 1st in kills (5.75), 1st in aces (.981), 2nd in points (6.65)
•UCSB: 2nd in hitting (.366)

In the MPSF
Gauchos among the MPSF statistical leaders (MPSF matches only):
•Bryan Berman: T-8th in aces (0.30)
•Ben Brockman: 10th in digs (1.98)
•Theo Brunner: 2nd in hitting (.531)
•David Kennedy: 7th in hitting (.432)
•Bart Kowalski: 7th in assists (11.93)
•Evan Patak: 1st in kills (5.98), 1st in aces (1.02), 1st in points (7.40)
•UCSB: 1st in hitting (.369), 1st in kills (16.26), 1st in aces (1.84), 1st in assists (15.37), 3rd in digs (9.12), 10th in blocks (2.50)

Milestone/Record Watch
Evan Patak got his 2,000th career kill vs. CSUN on April 6...Bryan Berman collected his 500th career dig at Pepperdine on April 14...Berman is 9 aces short of 100 for his career, which would make him just the second Gaucho in history with triple-digit aces (Patak is the other)...With 26 assists at Cal Baptist on March 27, Bart Kowalski moved into fifth on UCSB's career list...At .548, Theo Brunner is on pace to smash his own single season hitting record of .486, set in 2005...Brunner got his 800th career kill vs. Northridge on April 6...At .366, UCSB is on pace to break its single season hitting mark of .348, set in 2002...This year, UCSB set new rally era single season records for kills and digs, as well as an all-time single season record for aces...Ken Preston collected his 500th career win this season.

Poll Position
Here's a week-by-week look at where UCSB has stood in the AVCA Coaches Poll this season:
• April 16 - 5th • April 9 - 5th • April 2 - 5th • March 26 - 5th • March 19 - 5th • March 12 - 4th • March 5 - 4th • Feb. 26 - 4th • Feb. 19 - 3rd • Feb. 12 - T 3rd • Feb. 5 - 4th • Jan. 29 - 3rd • Jan. 22 - 4th • Jan. 15 - 6th; • Jan. 8 - 6th • Preseason - 6th
The Gauchos have been ranked second, their highest-ever, on two occasions in the AVCA poll, most recently on Jan. 23, 2001.

Preston Joins Half-Grand Club
With a 3-0 sweep at IPFW March 3, UCSB head coach Ken Preston collected his 500th career victory. Including 2007, Preston has 19 winning seasons under his belt and eight campaigns with 20 or more victories. Preston is in his 29th season leading the Gauchos after taking over the reigns in 1979.

Double-Double With Cheese
Three Gauchos have recorded a total of five double-doubles this season:
•Evan Patak (2): 32 kills, 17 digs at Hawai'i (2/8); 40 kills, 13 digs at Pacific (1/12)
•Aaron Richman (2): 10 kills, 10 digs at UCLA (2/23); 14 kills, 10 digs vs. Cal State Northridge (1/6)
•Armen Zakarian (1): 11 kills, 10 digs vs. Cal State Northridge (1/6)

Grand Attendance
For the Pepperdine match on Feb. 3, UCSB's Robertson Gymnasium hosted 1,068 fans. It was the highest attendance figure since 1,422 packed in on Jan. 27, 2001 vs. Stanford. The attendance record for a UCSB match is 4,310 against UCLA on April 22, 1983 in the Thunderdome. The Robertson Gymnasium record is 2,935 vs. UCLA on April 12, 1997.

UCSB Grabs Four During Early Signing Period
Ben Douglas (Mountain View, Calif.), Jeff Menzel (Santa Barbara, Calif.), Blaine Nielsen (Corona del Mar, Calif.), and Jake Scalise (San Marcos, Calif.) have committed to play for the Gauchos in 2008. Douglas is a 6'6" outside hitter from Mountain View High School. A member of the Spartans' varsity team since he was a freshman, Douglas is in his fourth year with the Bay to Bay Volleyball Club. Menzel is a local standout from San Marcos High School. The 6'5" opposite/outside hitter is a two-time All-CIF honoree and a 2006 All-Channel League First Team member. A versatile athlete, Menzel is also a first team all-league basketball player and a wide receiver on the Royals' football team. Nielsen is a 6'4" outside hitter out of Corona del Mar High School. A 2006 All-Pacific Coast League selection, Nielsen captained the Sea Kings to a league title and a second place finish in CIF Division II. In 2005, Corona del Mar won the CIF crown. At the club level, Nielsen captained Balboa Bay to Junior Olympics bronze medals in 2005 and 2006. Scalise is a 6'2" outside hitter from Mission Hills High School of the Division II Valley League. An all-league first team and San Diego County all-section pick, Scalise was also tabbed Mission Hills' MVP.

Bruin Bites
UCLA, the reigning national and MPSF champion, is making its 14th appearance in the league tournament. The Bruins are 24-6 all-time in the tourney and have won the title seven times since 1993. In 2006, UCLA ended UCSB's season by defeating the Gauchos 3-1 in the MPSF Play-In at Pauley Pavilion. UCLA has won its last five matches (and 12 of its last 15), most recently sweeping UC San Diego and Long Beach State. Tony Ker was named All-MPSF First Team, Steve Klosterman was tabbed second team, and Paul George was selected to the third team. Klosterman ranked seventh in the conference in kills and points per game this year. The Bruins hold a 2-1 advantage in the 2007 series against the Gauchos and lead the all-time series 111-27.