February 15, 2006

No. 11 Gauchos Upset Second-Ranked Pepperdine in Five-Game Thriller

Feb. 15, 2006

Box Score

Santa Barbara, Calif. - The 11th-ranked UC Santa Barbara men's volleyball team upset No. 2 Pepperdine Wednesday night at Robertson Gym in a five-game thriller, besting the Waves 26-30, 30-27, 37-35, 20-30, 15-13.

Junior opposite Evan Patak was sensational in his first full match back with the Gauchos after struggling with a shoulder injury in the last four contests. Patak recorded 29 kills, including the match-clincher that ended the two-hour, 33-minute contest.

Junior middle blocker David Kennedy had his best game of the season, notching ten kills on 19 attempts while hitting for a .421 clip while also sending home a crucial block in the fifth game to push the score to match-point. Teammate Bryan Berman was also effective for the Gauchos, finishing with 17 kills on a .345 hitting percentage.

Paul Carroll led Pepperdine with 22 kills while John Parfitt recorded 16. Andy Hein and Tanner Sutherland finished with 14 apiece.

After losing the first game 26-30, the Gauchos never trailed in game two, evening the score at one game apiece. UCSB took a one-game lead after the third despite Pepperdine's collective .486 hitting percentage, holding on with a .390 clip.

Pepperdine stormed back in the fourth game, quickly amassing a 20-8 lead. The closest the Gauchos would come from there would be at 26-18, but Pepperdine cruised to a 30-20 game-four victory.

With the score knotted at 6-6 in game five, Santa Barbara capitalized on a hitting error by Sutherland to take a one point lead. The Gauchos then set up Patak for a towering kill to go up two at the midway switch.

Santa Barbara would push its lead to three at 10-7 after an attack error by Pepperdine's Carroll and it appeared as if the Gauchos were going to cruise to victory. At 12-9, Patak came through on his 28th kill of the night to push the lead to 13-9, but Pepperdine inched back to cut its deficit to one at 14-13 after an ace by Hein.

UCSB Head Coach Ken Preston asked for a timeout to calm down the Gauchos and it worked as freshman setter Max Klineman was able to give Patak an accessible feed. The 2005 All-American did the rest, clinching the game and match for Santa Barbara on a deflected kill.

The Gauchos return to the court this Saturday when they travel to USC for a 7:05 match on Saturday.

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