Jan. 7, 2010
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Jeff Menzel became the 11th Gaucho in UCSB history to reach 1,000 career kills, but the No. 14 Gauchos fell to No. 9 Cal State Northridge in the opening round of the Santa Barbara Invitational, 3-1, Thursday morning at Robertson Gymnasium. The teams were tied at one set apiece, but UCSB eventually fell 29-31, 30-28, 17-30, and 19-30.
Menzel, a junior, connected on 24 of his 57 total attacks, good for a .211 clip. Trailing 3-4 in the fourth set, libero Andy McGuire floated a pass to the left side for Menzel, who cannoned his 20th kill of the night for the 1,000th of his career.
"Jeff played well for us today and it is impressive he has made it to 1,000," said UCSB head coach Rick McLaughlin, "We need our other guys to really come around for the rest of this tournament."
Fellow outside hitter Cullen Irons had nine kills to go along with five blocks for the Gauchos (0-1). Freshman middle blocker Dylan Davis led the team in hitting percentage in his debut in a Gaucho uniform, connecting on 47 percent (8-1-15) of his attack attempts. Sam Moisenco led the team with eight blocks.
Theo Edwards had 20 kills and Kevin McKniff added 16 of his own for the Matadors (1-0), who hit a combined .416 over its final two sets to put the match out of reach. Tanner Nua had three of his team's eight service aces, with Mike Gaudino and Edwards each contributing two. CSUN had five total players total 10 or more digs on the day (Ali'i Keohohou 12, Nua 11, Matt Stork 10, Gaudino 10, and Edwards 10).
Down a set, a Menzel kill and a block from Irons gave the Gauchos a 23-21 lead in the latter half of the second frame. The teams traded errors before an ace from setter Vince Devany gave UCSB a 26-23 advantage, forcing the Matadors to call a timeout. CSUN would score three of the next four points, bringing it within one at 27-26.
Each team would score a pair of points, but the Gauchos would get to the finish line sooner as Davis ended the set with a quick-hit spike down the center of the court- 30-28 UCSB.
From there, the Gauchos would muster just a .105 team hitting percentage the rest of the way. Northridge picked up where the Gauchos left off, hitting .444 and .387 in its final two frames. The Matadors out-blocked UCSB 14.5 to 13.5.
UCSB will face No. 7 Long Beach State in the second round at 7:30 p.m. Thursday evening in Rob Gym. CSUN is set to face Cal Baptist, with the winner advancing to the finals. Cal Baptist defeated Long Beach State in five sets during the opening round.
In other tournament action, No. 8 UCLA defeated No. 13 UC San Diego in five sets and No. 6 BYU defeated defending national champion No. 2 UC Irvine in four. The winner of BYU-UCLA will face the winner of CBU-CSUN for the tournament championship.
Tournament action will conclude on Friday. All matches will be at Rob Gym. Match times and opponents will be determined at the conclusion of Thursday night's round two match-ups.
Thursday's First Round Scores
CSUN def. UCSB 3-1 (31-29, 28-10, 30-17, 30-19)
UCLA def. UCSD 3-2 (30-24, 24-30, 26-30, 31-29, 15-8)
BYU def. UCI 3-1 (22-30, 30-26, 30-22, 30-27)
CBU def. LBSU 3-2 (31-29, 27-30, 28-30, 30-28)
Thursday's Second Round Match-Ups
UCSD vs. UCI 7:30 pm Court 1 (Thunderdome)
UCLA vs. BYU 7:30 pm Court 2 (Thunderdome)
CSUN vs. CBU 7:30 pm Court 3 (Thunderdome)
UCSB vs. LBSU 7:30 pm Court 4 (Robertson Gym)
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 by clicking here. 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.
- UCSBgauchos.com -