No. 4 Gauchos Travel to Malibu Thursday for MPSF Semi vs. No. 1 Pepperdine

No. 4 Gauchos Travel to Malibu Thursday for MPSF Semi vs. No. 1 Pepperdine

April 24, 2007

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The Schedule
Thursday, April 26 - 5:30 p.m.
No. 4 UCSB (fourth seed) vs. No. 1 Pepperdine (first seed)
MPSF Tournament Semifinal
Firestone Fieldhouse
Malibu, Calif.

Live Online Audio

Live Online Pay-per-View Video

Ticket Information
All-session ticket packages are on sale at the Pepperdine Ticket Office (1-866-WAVE TIX) for $25. Single-session tickets will go on sale Thursday at the ticket office -- located on the southwest corner of Firestone Fieldhouse -- from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. and are $15 for adults and $10 for students with valid IDs. Doors to Thursday's matches open at 4 p.m.

Against Pepperdine
Last Meeting: 4/14/07 at Pepperdine
Result: Pepperdine 3, UCSB 1 (30-24, 30-26, 25-30, 30-25)
2007 Series: Pepperdine leads 2-0
2006 Series: Tied 1-1
All-Time Series: Pepperdine leads 58-28
Last UCSB Win: 2/15/06 at UCSB
Result: UCSB 3, Pepperdine 2 (26-30, 30-27, 37-35, 20-30, 15-13)
Current Streak: Pepperdine three wins
All-Time MPSF Tournament Series: First meeting

UCSB in the MPSF Tournament
Appearances/Years: 9/2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2002, 1998, 1997, 1996, 1995
Overall Record: 7-8
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: 6-2
Semifinal Appearances/Years: 6/2007, 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: 2-3
Record at Robertson Gymnasium: 3-0
Record at Firestone Fieldhouse: 0-2

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

Quarterfinals: Sat., April 21
• Match 1: #2 BYU 3, #7 CSUN 0
30-26, 30-28, 30-26
• Match 2: #3 UC Irvine 3, #6 Hawai'i 2
26-30, 27-30, 30-23, 30-22, 15-11
• Match 3: #4 UCSB 3, #5 UCLA 1
30-17, 37-35, 27-30, 30-27

Semifinals: Thurs., April 26 @ Pepperdine
• Match 4: #1 PEPP vs. #4 UCSB, 5:30 pm
• Match 5: #2 BYU vs. #3 UC Irvine, 8 pm

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

UCSB Advances to Semis with 3-1 Win Over UCLA
The Gauchos defeated UCLA 3-1 Saturday in a MPSF quarterfinal in front of a season-high 1,157 fans at Rob Gym. UCSB won the first two sets by scores of 30-17 and 37-35 before UCLA came back to take game three 30-27. The Gauchos hit .208, their lowest percentage of the night, in game four, but held on to win 30-27. Evan Patak paced the Gaucho attack with 24 kills on .288 hitting. He added three aces, four digs, and a pair of blocks. Theo Brunner followed with 10 kills and had a match-high seven blocks. The Gauchos dominated at the net, out-blocking the Bruins 12.5 to 4.0. UCLA, the 2006 national and MPSF champion, was led by Steve Klosterman, who put away a match-high 28 kills. The Bruins, who ended UCSB's 2006 season in the MPSF play-in match, committed a stunning 31 service errors.

Victory Lap
UCSB's 20 wins this season are its most since finishing at 25-13 in 1989. Since 1971, the Gauchos have amassed 20 or more wins 13 times. UCSB's 14 MPSF victories ties its most ever (14-5 in 1995 and 1996). In addition, this year's fourth place league finish is the Gauchos' best since the MPSF went to a single division in 2002.

Mr. 2000 Closing in on Harris
Evan Patak has 2,086 career kills and is just 29 away from becoming UCSB's all-time leader. Donny Harris is the school's career kills king, amassing 2,114 put-aways from 1994 to 1997. Patak's match-high 25 kills against Cal State Northridge on April 6 put him over 2,000 for his career. Patak and Harris are the only two Gauchos in school history to eclipse the 2,000-kill mark.

Brunner, Kowalski, and Patak Earn All-MPSF Honors
Theo Brunner and Evan Patak were named to the 2007 All-MPSF First Team, while Bart Kowalski picked up All-MPSF Honorable Mention accolades. 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.

Harris, Patak Named to MPSF 15th Anniversary Teams
Two UCSB men's volleyball players, one current and one former, were honored as the MPSF announced its 15th Anniversary Teams. Evan Patak was selected to the third team, while Donny Harris garnered honorable mention accolades. Harris played opposite hitter at UCSB from 1994-97. A three-time all-American and All-MPSF selection, he is UCSB's career kills leader with 2,114. Harris is also the Gauchos' all-time attack attempts leader (4,208) and is third in career aces (77), seventh in career digs (548), and 10th in total blocks (297). He also holds a UCSB single match record with 52 kills against Lewis in 1997. The La Cañada, Calif. native led the Gauchos in kills and attempts all four seasons that he played.

Hit Parade
At .365, UCSB is second in the country in attack percentage. The Gauchos led the MPSF, hitting .369 in league matches. UCSB is 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 19-0 when out-hitting its opponent. Middles Theo Brunner and David Kennedy are ranked nationally, with Brunner fourth (.543) and Kennedy 19th (.416). This season, the Gauchos have established a new rally era single season kill record with 1,802.

Ace (west of) Ventura
UCSB has been dangerous from the service line all season, collecting a single season record 210 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 109 aces this year and continues to lead the nation in that category at .973 per game. The next closest player in total aces is Paul Carroll of Pepperdine, who has 55. Patak and Bryan Berman have accounted for 139 of UCSB's 210 aces this season, 66%.

Shiny Happy People
UCSB hosted a season-high 1,157 fans for the UCLA quarterfinal on April 21. It was the second time Robertson Gymnasium had packed in over 1,000 this season as 1,068 came out for the Pepperdine match on Feb. 3. Last week's attendance was the highest since 1,422 crammed in on Jan. 27, 2001 vs. Stanford. The Robertson Gymnasium record is 2,935 vs. UCLA on April 12, 1997.

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 1,262 of UCSB's 3,474 attempts this season (36%). The next closest Gaucho is Theo Brunner with 552 swings, 710 fewer than Patak. Patak has led UCSB in attempts in all 31 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: T-18th in digs (2.16)
•Theo Brunner: 4th in hitting (.543)
•David Kennedy: 19th in hitting (.416)
•Bart Kowalski: 18th in assists (11.91)
•Evan Patak: 1st in kills (5.76), 1st in aces (.973), 1st in points (7.09)
•UCSB: 2nd in hitting (.365)

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 .543, 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 .365, 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.

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 nine 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)

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.

Pepperdine Points
Top-ranked and top-seeded Pepperdine has won 22 straight matches. Its lone loss of the season came against Long Beach State (3-2) on Jan. 19. The Waves won 21 MPSF matches this year, setting an all-time record for most conference wins in a season by any MPSF team, dating back to 1970. Setter Jonathan Winder was named the MPSF Player of the Year, while Marv Dunphy was tabbed the league's Coach of the Year. Pepperdine, which won the 2005 National Championship, is making its 14th appearance in the MPSF Tournament. In 2006, the Waves defeated Cal State Northridge 3-0 in the quarters and were swept by eventual national champion UCLA in the semis. Statistically, the Waves are out-hitting opponents .345 to .238 and out-blocking opponents 3.53 to 2.29. Paul Carroll is second in the nation in kills (5.67) and points (6.80) and fourth in aces (.579). Winder ranks second in assists (13.36) and Tom Hulse is third in blocks (1.90).