January 13, 2007

Sixth-Ranked Gauchos Blank Stanford for Third Consecutive Win

Jan. 13, 2007

Box Score

Stanford, Calif. - With a team attack percentage of .478, the No. 6 UC Santa Barbara men's volleyball team rolled past unranked Stanford, 3-0, Saturday at Burnham Pavilion to earn its third-straight victory. The Gauchos, who were led offensively by Evan Patak with a match-high 15 kills, out-blocked the Cardinal 11-4.

The win moved UCSB to 4-1 overall and 2-0 in MPSF play. Stanford remained winless at 0-5 overall and 0-2 in the league.

Game scores went 30-21, 30-25, and 30-21 and it took just an hour and twenty minutes for the Gauchos to put away the Cardinal.

In the opening game, Stanford held several leads early, but ran into a UCSB team hitting percentage of .621. Tied 10-10, the Gauchos took the lead for good on a Cardinal service error. Back-to-back kills by David Kennedy gave UCSB a 25-19 advantage. An ace from setter Bart Kowalski and a Stanford hitting error pushed the lead to eight at 27-19. Two more Kennedy kills and a put down by Theo Brunner gave the game to the Gauchos.

Game two proved to be the battle of the match. The score was either tied or within one point until Stanford went on a run at 16-16 to take a 21-17 lead. Several attack errors proved costly to the Cardinal and the Gauchos got back into the game, tying it 24-24 on a hitting miscue by Stanford. A triple block by Brunner, Patak, and Armen Zakarian, plus two more Cardinal hitting errors, put UCSB up 27-24 and Stanford would not recover. A block by Brunner and Zakarian put the second game away for UCSB.

Stanford led early in the third game, but it hit a match-low .171 while UCSB hit .538 in the frame. A block by Kennedy and Kowalski gave the Gauchos their first lead at 4-3. The Cardinal tied the game, 10-10, on a kill from Evan Romero and a service ace by Kawika Shoji. However, Patak responded with a kill and one of his three aces in the match to put the Gauchos back on top for good. UCSB had as much as an eight-point lead in the latter stages of the game.

Patak led a trio of Gauchos that had double-digit kill numbers, including Brunner and Kennedy, who each posted 12. Zakarian had four kills and no errors in eight attacks and added a match-best 12 digs. At the net, Brunner totaled five blocks and Zakarian checked in with four. Kennedy and Patak had three stuff apiece.

Stanford got 13 kills from Matt Ceran and Romero, and another 10 out of Brandon Williams. Shoji had a team-high six digs. The Cardinal hit .257 for the match.

UCSB returns home to host No. 3 UCLA Wednesday, January 17 at Robertson Gymnasium (7 p.m.). The Bruins defeated the Gauchos, 3-0, at last week's Elephant Bar Invitational in Santa Barbara.

--www.UCSBgauchos.com--

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