March 5, 2010
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - The No. 10 UC Santa Barbara men's volleyball team could not keep pace with No. 7 USC, falling to the Trojans, 3-1, Friday night at the Galen Center. Set scores were 26-30, 35-33, 30-24, and 31-29.
Scott Slaughter hit .522 for UCSB, finishing with 14 kills, six block assists, and an ace. Jeff Menzel secured his second consecutive double-double with 17 kills and 11 digs, but the leading hitter in the MPSF managed only a .022 total hitting percentage, his lowest of the season. Setter Vince Devany passed-out 60 assists and had five blocks.
Murphy Troy led the way with 24 kills for USC. Three players ended the night with 12 kills for the Trojans - Tony Ciarelli, Steven Shandrick, and Hunter Current. Ciarelli finished with 10 digs while Current finished with 16 digs.
With the loss, the Gauchos dropped to 10-9 overall, 7-6 in MPSF play. USC improved to 9-6 and 7-5.
In the first set, the Gauchos would lead by as much as three before the Trojans caught up at 23-23. A pair of Menzel kills gave UCSB a two-point cushion, but USC was able to trade points from there, bringing it back within one, 27-26. Slaughter took the rest of the set into his own hands from there, spiking a pair of kills down the middle and then finishing off the set with a block along with Devany, 30-26.
Facing set point in the second frame, a USC error breathed new life into the Gauchos, as the teams matched each other at 30-30. USC would win the next point, but ended up trading points with UCSB until 32-32. Blaine Nielsen planted an ace down the line to give the Gauchos set point at 33-32, but a kill by Troy and a pair of aces from Ciarelli downed the Gauchos, 35-33.
Tied at 20-20 in the third set, the Trojans would win five of the next six points, three on UCSB attack errors, to give them a cushion at 25-21. Slaughter stopped the bleeding for the Gauchos with a kill, but Troy followed with a pair of his own to extend the lead to five. A USC attack error gave the Gauchos hope, but the Trojans would go on to win three of the next four points for the 30-24 victory.
Down five in the fourth stanza, Devany followed a kill with an ace and Dylan Davis and Nielsen added kills to bring the Gauchos within two at 24-26. USC secured the next point, but a pair of errors by USC and a kill from UCSB's Grant Goswiller tied the set at 27-27. The teams would trade points until 29-29, but a serving error from Nielsen and an attack error by UCSB's Todd Travis gave the Trojans the final set, 31-29.
The Gauchos next match is on Wednesday, March 10, against Cal State Northridge at Rob Gym. Match time is set for 7 p.m.
This season, fans have several options to purchase men's volleyball tickets. Online sales are through Ticket Return. Just go to UCSBgauchos.com and click on "Tickets." Additionally, tickets are available by calling the Ticket Office at 805.893.UCSB or by visiting the Ticket Office, located in the Intercollegiate Athletics building on campus. Of course, you can also buy tickets at the Rob Gym entrance beginning one our prior to the start of the match. Individual match ticket prices are $7 for adults, $5 for seniors, and $3 for youths. UCSB students are free.
UCSB men's volleyball matches can be followed live online for no charge with Gametracker. Log on to UCSBgauchos.com, go to the men's volleyball schedule, and click on the Gametracker link for the match you're interested in.