UCSB Battles Cal State Northridge and Long Beach State

Jake Staahl (Photo by Tony Mastres)
• The Schedule
Wednesday, February 15, 2012 at 7 p.m.
No. 15 UC Santa Barbara (3-7, 1-5)
vs. No 11 Cal State Northridge (4-7, 2-5)
Series record vs. the Matadors- 46-36
Streak- Won 3
2011 Series- UCSB 2-0
2012 Series- UCSB 1-0
Last time out vs. the Matadors- W, 3-1
Friday, February 17, 2012 at 7 p.m.
No. 15 UC Santa Barbara (3-7, 1-5)
vs. No 10 Long Beach State (6-6, 2-5)
Series record vs. the 49ers- 45-38
Streak- Won 1
2010 Series- Tied 1-1
2011 Series- LBSU 2-1
Last time out vs. the 49ers- W, 3-1

• Can't Make it to the Court?
UCSB men's volleyball matches can be followed live online for no charge with Presto Sport's
"Primetime" app. For home matches, log on to UCSBgauchos.com, go to the men's volleyball
schedule, and click on the"live stats' link for the match you're interested in. You can follow each
point and see player statistics and bios. Live stats for Friday's away match can be found on www.longbeachstate.com.

Scouting the Matadors
To come out on top against Cal State Northridge, the Gauchos will have to slow down German Freshman Julius Hoefer- who leads the Matadors in kills (140), aces (8), blocks (36), points (170.0), and is second in digs with 41. Senior outside hitter Matt Stork, who sits at 97 kills currently, will almost assuredly join Hoefer in the century-kill club. Sina Aghassy leads the team in digs at 48 despite playing in just 27 of the team's 40 games. Middle blocker Jared Moore boasts the conference's top hitting percentage at .557.

• The Week in Review
UCSB played just one match last week, falling to the top-ranked UCLA Bruins. A season-high 615 fans filled Rob Gym in what turned out to be a thrilling match. A ceremony honoring UCLA Head Coach Al Scates preceded a four-game loss for UCSB, who received fine efforts from numerous players. Miles Evans had 19 kills, one off his career mark, while Kevin Donohue (nine kills, eight digs) and Chad Kingi (9 digs) also had noteworthy performances. UCSB was particularly efficient at the service line, picking up just seven errors and finishing with a season-high .914 team serving percentage. UCLA was able to break through on the strength of Jeremy Casebeer's kills and strong serving from setter Kyle Caldwell, who was behind three extended service runs for UCLA, including the decisive service point.

• Scouting the 49ers 
Long Beach State broke a two match losing streak and by upsetting top-ranked UCLA on Tuesday, Feb. 14, handing the Bruins their first conference loss of the season. As was the case last year, Taylor Crabb and Jim Baughman are twin terrors on the outside. Crabb (139 kills) and Baughman (121 kills) both are over 100 kills, while John La Rusch's 21 kills against UCLA more than doubled his previous season total of 15 kills. Crabb and Baughman have combined for 26 service aces. Crabb also leads the team in digs with 90 digs.

• Evans Getting It Done 
Junior outside hitter Miles Evans has quickly become the team's go-to
attacking option, having led the squad in kills in seven of the first nine
matches of the season. Miles, a transfer from Santa Barbara City College,
follows in the footsteps of last year's big hitter, Jeff Menzel, who
was also raised in the Santa Barbara area. Miles recently picked up a
career-high in kills, going off for 20 on Jan. 21 against Stanford in just
four games. Miles ranks fifth in the MPSF in kills per game (3.92). Miles
has recorded 10 or more kills in nine of ten matches this season.

• Fresh Faced Gauchos
In contrast to last year's senior-heavy and rarely changing lineup, this
year's lineup features just one senior and one starting returner. Head
Coach Rick McLaughlin rarely strayed from his starting seven last year,
but 13 different players have started a match already this year for the
Gauchos. A season-high 11 Gauchos entered the match on Feb. 1
against USC.

• Kingi is Digging It
Chad Kingi, UCSB's versatile sophomore libero, has done an admirable job filling the shoes that All-American Andy McGuire left for him. Chad leads the Gauchos in digs with 83 (2.24 digs/game), and is significantly ahead of his teammates in the category- Miles Evans is second-best with 48. Chad's dig per game rate ranks fifth best in the conference.  Also a competent setter, Chad has seen emergency-duty at the setter position, and has so far compiled 49 assists this year, second on the team.

• Long View at Donohue
Freshman outside hitter Kevin Donohue is beginning to find success after earning an extended run in the lineup. After playing in just three of the team's first six matches (including pre-season), Kevin has seen action in four of the squad's last five tilts. Donohue has rewarded Rick McLaughlin's faith with back-to-back strong performances. Against Pepperdine on Feb. 3, Kevin picked up career-highs in kills (17) and digs (9). On Feb. 10 against UCLA, Kevin had nine kills and eight digs. Kevin is second on the team with 2.80 kills per game.

• 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, making it easier than ever for fans to purchase tickets.
Monday through Friday.