March 14, 2010

No. 10 UCSB Falls in Five at No. 2 Pepperdine

March 13, 2010

Box Score

MALIBU, Calif. - Jeff Menzel knocked down a match-best 21 kills and added 10 digs but the 10th-ranked UCSB men's volleyball team was stifled by No. 2 Pepperdine's block party and lost in five sets Saturday before 1,015 in attendance at Firestone Fieldhouse. Scores went 30-17, 28-20, 28-30, 30-25, and 15-7.

UCSB dropped to 10-11 overall and 7-8 in the MPSF, while Pepperdine upped its marks to 12-5 and 10-4. The Gauchos have lost the last 10 match-ups against the Waves, including a five set marathon in Santa Barbara in early February.

Getting past the Pepperdine block proved a daunting task as the Waves totaled 25.5 stuffs over the five frames, holding the Gauchos to a lackluster .167 (64-38-156) attack percentage on the night. Tyler Jaynes was relentless at the net with 13 blocks while Maurice Torres added 10. Torres collected a triple-double as he had 16 kills and 10 digs to go along with his double-digit block total.

Menzel's 21 kills came on 54 swings, but he also had 18 errors for a .056 hitting percentage. Two other Gauchos joined Menzel with 10 or more kills as Scott Slaughter had 14 and Jake Rosener had 11. Libero Andy McGuire posted a match-high 13 digs and freshman Dylan Davis totaled a career-high nine blocks.

UCSB committed 21 errors from the service line.

Pepperdine swung at .317 (65-21-139) and was paced by Cory Riecks with 18 kills. J.D. Schleppenbach had 12 kills and eight blocks, while Sean Grubbs led the Waves defensively with 12 digs.

UCSB got off to a slow start, hitting just .088 in the first set. In contrast, Pepperdine hit .517 and had eight of its blocks in the set.

The Gauchos picked it up in the second and third sets, hitting .231 and .290, the team's highest of the night. UCSB, which totaled 14 blocks of its own, had six of those in the second set. The Waves were held under .200 in both games.

Set four stayed close until Pepperdine, which led 21-20, ripped three straight points and didn't look back.

The fifth and deciding set belonged to the Waves, who enjoyed an early 4-0 run that UCSB could not recover from.

Pepperdine has had to come back from behind for the victory against UCSB in both matches this season. In the February tilt, the Gauchos jumped out to a 2-0 lead before relinquishing the next three sets.

The Gauchos have now lost three straight after winning the previous four. The Waves have been victorious in 11 of their last 12 contests.

UCSB will have a week off before traveling to Provo, Utah, to take on BYU March 26 and 27.

- UCSBgauchos.com -