January 31, 2009

BYU Returns Favor, Beats UCSB in Five Sets

Jan. 31, 2009

Box Score

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Despite a career-high 29 kills from Jeff Menzel, No.9 BYU outlasted 10th-ranked UCSB to pick up a 3-2 win Saturday in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) men's volleyball action at Robertson Gymnasium. Scores were 29-31, 31-29, 15-30, 30-24, and 15-8 in favor of the Cougars. It was the second consecutive night the two squads went to five sets, but the Gauchos held on for the win Friday.

UCSB fell to 3-5 overall and 1-4 in the MPSF, while the Cougars improved to 5-4 and 3-1.

Hitting .375 and dominating the Cougars in set three, the Gauchos were unable to keep the pace in the last two sets, posting a .108 attack percentage in the fourth frame. BYU's Andrew Stewart took over the fourth set, notching seven of his total 21 kills as momentum clearly shifted to the Cougars.

"They were just able to stay with us and we couldn't pull away," said Menzel, who also had an ace, three digs, and a pair of blocks.

BYU came out firing with a .714 hitting percentage in the final set, converting on all nine of its sideout opportunities, while UCSB struggled, hitting a meager .214.

In addition to Menzel, the Gauchos had two more players with double-digit kills on the evening, as Cullen Irons and Scott Slaughter added 15 and 12, respectively. Vince DeVany notched 58 assists, two shy of the career-high he recorded in Friday's match.

The Cougars were led by a team-high 26 kills and .429 hitting percentage from opposite Mat Taylor. Setter Yamil Perez totaled 66 assists and a team-best eight digs.

BYU out-blocked UCSB 18.5 to 13.0, but made 18 errors from the service line. Overall, the Cougars hit .295 to the Gauchos' .257 clip.

"The funny thing is, you get wins in the strangest places, but you lose some you're supposed to win," said UCSB head coach Rick McLaughlin.

The Gauchos remain at home to host UC San Diego on Friday, Feb. 6 and Long Beach State on Saturday, Feb. 7. Both matches are set for 7 p.m. Tickets are available online through TICKET RETURN, by calling the Ticket Office at (805) 893-UCSB, or by coming to the Ticket Office in the Intercollegiate Athletics building on campus.

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**UCSB - a nationally recognized university in both academic and athletic excellence - is located on the central coast of California in a picturesque campus and community setting on the Pacific Ocean. Each year over 450 Division 1 Gaucho student-athletes compete for national championships, succeed in the classroom, and give back to the community.**

- UCSBgauchos.com -