Gauchos Defeat MPSF Rival Hawai'i, 3-1
March 5, 2009
HONOLULU, Hawai'i - A balanced offense with four players posting double figure kills totals helped lead the No. 14 UC Santa Barbara men's volleyball team to a 3-1 MPSF victory over No. 12 Hawai'i Thursday in front of 2,226 at the Stan Sheriff Center.
UCSB (5-11, 3-10 MPSF) got 23 kills from Jeff Menzel. He was followed by Scott Slaughter (19), Jake Rosener (18), and Trey Valbuena (15), who all recorded career-highs in kills. Setter Vince DeVany amassed a career-best 79 assists, while Menzel and Rosener completed double-doubles with 10 digs apiece. Libero Andy McGuire had a match-high 15 digs.
Hawai'i (3-11, 2-9 MPSF) also had four players in double figures for kills including Joshua Walker (30), Steven Grgas (15), Jarrod Lofy (12), and Sean Carney (10).
The Warriors led 15-11 midway through the first set and extended their lead to as much as 22-17 before a 6-1 Gaucho run tied the score at 23. After a UH timeout, the Warriors jumped ahead 26-23 with a pair of kills by Carney and a Gaucho hitting error. Walker ended it with his sixth kill. Grgas led UH with seven kills in the set.
In the second frame, the Gauchos jumped out to a 3-0 lead. The Warriors held a brief 6-5 lead before UCSB rebounded with a 6-2 run to take a three-point lead. UH eventually tied the score at 17 with consecutive aces by Rawson and Nejc Zemljak and regained the lead at 22-21 on back-to-back blocks. The Gauchos answered back with the help of Hawai'i service and hitting errors. The teams sided out until UCSB ended it with consecutive kills by Menzel.
UCSB led for a good part of set three. The Gauchos led 11-8 and maintained a three-point lead until the Warriors tied it at 23 with three straight UCSB errors. The teams traded side-outs the rest of the way. The Warriors served for the set six times while the Gauchos had six tries of their own, finally ending it on two straight blocks.
In the fourth set, no team had a lead greater than three until a controversial no-call went in UCSB's favor for a 25-21 lead. The Gauchos held on for a 30-26 win.
It was the fifth consecutive win over Hawai'i for Santa Barbara. It was also the Gauchos' first road victory of the season.
Santa Barbara closes out its longest road trip of the season as it matches up against Hawai'i again on Friday (10 p.m. PT).
The next home match will be a non-conference tilt against George Mason on Mar. 11 (7 p.m.). Tickets are available online at UCSBgauchos.com, by calling the Athletics Ticket Office at (805) 893-UCSB, or by visiting the ticket office in the Intercollegiate Athletics building on campus.
**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 NCAA Division I Gaucho student-athletes compete for national championships, succeed in the classroom, and give back to the community.**
- UCSBgauchos.com -