March 4, 2011
Coming off just their second losing streak of the year, the Gauchos needed a victory against Cal State Northridge to avoid losing three straight for the first time all year. The Gauchos got that victory and more, sweeping CSUN 3-0 (25-22, 25-23, 25-15). The loss halted the UCSB losing streak at two, and improved their record to 11-8 with a 9-7 mark in conference play. Northridge's record fell 4-14, 3-10.
At times throughout the season, senior outside hitter Jeff Menzel has shown the ability at times to take over a match. Menzel did just that on Friday night, as he clearly performed at a level even higher than his usually outstanding output. Jeff finished the night with 16 kills, a total impressive on its own in a three-set match. More impressive was his ability to compile those kills despite not receiving many sets once two reserve hitters, junior Blaine Nielsen and senior Todd Travis, came in during the third set to finish the match for the Gauchos. Jeff also recorded three service aces, six digs, and two blocks. He accounted for 20 of the Gauchos' 56 points, 10.5 more than the next highest producer, senior middle blocker Scott Slaughter.
Speaking about Menzel's impressive match, UCSB Head Coach Rick McLaughlin said "Jeff's a physical player.[Cal State Northridge] is a bit of a smaller team, so he matches up really well against them."
Though Jeff was clearly the story on Friday night, other Gauchos had noteworthy performances as well. Senior libero Andy McGuire had a match-high 7 digs, and senior setter Vince Devany had 37 assists. Devany had a streak of seven straight matches with 40+ assists broken, but his 12.3 assists per set were higher than his season average of 11.38 assists per set.
On Wednesday night against Long Beach State, the Gauchos experienced a bit of an anomaly in dropping the first set- they were 16-5 in the first set going into the match. UCSB got back to its strong first set play against CSUN, holding the Matadors to a hitting percentage of .111 for the game. Jeff Menzel recorded five of his kills and an ace in the set. The serving in the first game was notably sloppy- there were four service errors in the first seven points, and there were 10 overall in the game. Senior opposite Cullen Irons and sophomore middle blocker Dylan Davis had 3 blocks apiece.
The second set was by far the tightest set of the night, There were 14 ties and four lead changes over the course of the game. Cal State Northridge led as late as 22-21, but the second set was where Menzel's game shined the brightest. Santa Barbara's native son from San Marcos High School had seven kills in the set, and also had an impressive ace that bounced uncontested off CSUN's Drew Staker's thigh. Devany had 13 assists in the game.
Getting out to an early lead in the third, McLaughlin decided to go to his bench to finish the match. Substitutes Todd Travis and Blaine Nielsen both had encouraging sets- Nielsen had two kills on three attacks to go along with an important block while Travis had four kills and a .571 hitting percentage. The Gauchos only allowed 15 points on the game, holding CSUN to a .129 hitting percentage.
The Gauchos take a bit of a break from conference play, playing in a tournament against Eastern teams Penn State and Lewis before taking a week off for finals week.
A donation to the Gaucho Fund - regardless of the sport it supports - will be part of the One Donation is Gold system. This allows donors to purchase priority/premium seating and parking at UCSB games across several sports in addition to other benefits.
Tune in to UCSB Athletics' weekly radio show Talk'n Gauchos, which airs every Tuesday from 6-7 p.m. on AM 1290 KZSB. The show is broadcast live from the Beachside Bar & Café on Goleta Beach. Fans are encouraged to attend the show for free gear and ticket giveaways and can even e-mail a question in to one of the guests and have it read live over the air. The show also airs live online via audio streaming and fans can click here to check out the entire lineup of live audio streaming online.
Gauchos, Menzel Dominate CSUN
August 16, 2011 Menzel, Team USA Improve to 3-1 at World University Games
August 12, 2011 Menzel, Davis Represent USA in International Play
May 7, 2011 UCSB Unable to Capture NCAA Championship
May 5, 2011 Davis Leads Gauchos Over USC, Into NCAA Finals
May 3, 2011 Menzel Named AVCA Player of the Week
May 2, 2011 No. 3 Gauchos Head to NCAA Final Four
April 30, 2011 Gauchos Topple No. 1 USC, Capture MPSF Championship
April 29, 2011 Menzel, McGuire Named to AVCA All-American Team
April 29, 2011 No. 5 UCSB Reaches MPSF Championship Match, Take on USC
April 27, 2011 No. 5 UCSB Heads to Conference Final Four, Take on LBSU
April 22, 2011 No. 7 UCSB Heads to No. 2 BYU to Kick Off MPSF Tournament
April 21, 2011 Four Gauchos Earn All-MPSF Honors
April 16, 2011 UCSB Ends Regular Season With Loss Against No. 1 USC
April 14, 2011 Gauchos Upset by Pepperdine
April 8, 2011 Gauchos Stun No. 3 Stanford on Senior Night
April 7, 2011 No. 15 Pacific Upsets No. 6 Gauchos, 3-2
March 31, 2011 Gauchos Clinch Playoff Spot With Win Over Tritons
March 31, 2011 No. 8 UCSB Tries to Clinch a Playoff Spot Against UCI, UCSD
March 13, 2011 Gauchos Roll Over Lewis to Finish Up Active Ankle Tournament
March 11, 2011 UCSB Drops First Game of Long Beach Tournament to Penn State
March 4, 2011 Gauchos, Menzel Dominate CSUN
March 2, 2011 Gauchos Fall to Long Beach State
March 2, 2011 Men's Volleyball vs. LBSU Moved to Rec Cen
March 2, 2011 No. 4 Gauchos Return Home to Host Long Beach State, CSUN
February 27, 2011 UCSB Falls in Heartbreaker to Stanford
February 25, 2011 Gauchos Drop Pacific in Four
February 24, 2011 Gauchos Rise to Third in Rankings, Head North
February 18, 2011 UCSB Earns Split in BYU Series
February 17, 2011 Gauchos Fall to BYU in Four
February 16, 2011 Men's Volleyball Moves to T-Dome For This Weeks Matches
February 16, 2011 Gauchos Set for No. 2 BYU
February 11, 2011 Gauchos Top Bruins
February 9, 2011 Gauchos Top Bruins Behind Menzel's 17 Kills
February 8, 2011 Gauchos Prepare for Bruins
February 5, 2011 Gauchos Earn Split in Hawai'i Series
February 4, 2011 Gauchos Fall to Hawai'i
February 1, 2011 Gauchos Cross the Pacific, Battle Hawai'i
January 28, 2011 Gauchos Roll Over Waves, 3-0
January 28, 2011 Gauchos Look to Break Cold Streak Against Waves
January 26, 2011 No. 1 USC Pulls Away From No. 6 UCSB
January 25, 2011 No. 6 Gauchos Battle Top-Ranked USC on Wednesday at Robertson Gym
January 21, 2011 No. 5 Gauchos Blast Cal State Northridge, 3-0
January 19, 2011 Gauchos Continue Road Swing
January 18, 2011 Volleyball Drops Match At Long Beach State
January 15, 2011 UCSB Falls to UC Irvine in Straight Sets
January 14, 2011 Gauchos Sweep Tritons
January 13, 2011 Gauchos Kick Off 2011 Season
January 8, 2011 Gauchos Drop Final of Gaucho Collegiate Invitational
January 7, 2011 Gauchos Sweep Day One, Advance to Finals
January 5, 2011 UCSB Set to Host Gaucho Collegiate Invitational
January 4, 2011 Gauchos Win Tune-Up Match
January 3, 2011 Gauchos Ready to Roll
November 30, 2010 Gauchos Roll in Final Fall Tournament
August 20, 2010 U.S. Juniors Will Play for NORCECA Gold Saturday
August 18, 2010 U.S. Juniors Win Pool After Sweeping Mexico
August 17, 2010 U.S. Junior National Team Goes to 2-0 After Sweeping Martinique