April 8, 2011
Santa Barbara, Calif - Coming off an upset at the hands of No. 15 Pacific on Thursday night, the No. 6 Gauchos dished out an upset of their own on Senior Night at the Thunderdome, defeating the Stanford Cardinal by a score of 3-1. Game scores were 25-22, 23-25, 25-23, 25-16. With the win, the Gauchos record improves to 14-12, 11-9 in MPSF play, while Stanford falls to 17-8, 13-7 MPSF. UCSB was a led by a pair of seniors on Senior Night, outside hitter Jeff Menzel and opposite Cullen Irons both recorded season highs in kills woth 26 and 23, respectively. Senior setter Vince Devany also benefitted from the strong play from the outsides, finishing with 58 assists, his second-highest total on the year.
If the playoffs would have started before today's matches, UCSB would have drawn Stanford in its quarterfinal match. Falling to the Cardinal in a tight, five-set match back in February, the Gauchos looked eager this time to prove they could top Stanford from the word "go."
Though nobody knew Jeff Menzel's first set was just a prelude of what was to come, it was still something to be reckoned with. Jeff recorded 7 kills on 9 attacks with no errors (hitting or serving), for one of his cleanest games of the year. Senior setter Vince Devany compiled 15 assists in the first frame, which ended on a strong attack from Irons that ricocheted off of the Stanford defensive wall and into the stands. The Gauchos hit a fluid .393 as a team, and held Stanford to just a .240 hitting percentage.
Though the Gauchos dropped the second set, they rallied back from the jaws of defeat to make it competitive. Down 24-20, the Gauchos rode a service clinic from senior outside hitter Trey Valbuena, who recorded a key late service ace that made the match 24-23 before a Spencer McLachlin kill ended UCSB's hopes of a comeback. Irons still managed to rack up six kills in the frame, while Menzel collected another seven.
The third set was one of the tightest frames the Gauchos have participated in all year. From 8-8 to 19-19, the teams virtually traded every point back and forth before UCSB was able to distance itself after a couple Stanford miscues coupled with another strong set from outsides Menzel and Irons, who tallied six and seven kills in the set, respectively.
The decisive fourth set was somewhat of a departure from the rest of the match. Before the fourth set, no lead had grown above four for either team. The Gauchos appeared to run away with the game following a pair of impressive blocks from senior middle blocker Scott Slaughter, who had an impressive game of his own, even though it was buried in the stat sheet behind Menzel's and Iron's numbers. Scott finished with eight kills on just 10 attacks with a single error, finished with a .700 hitting percentage and chipping in four blocks, which tied him with sophomore Dylan Davis for the team lead. Menzel saved his best for last in the final set, recording eight kills, including the game clincher.
Asked about his teams 'Jekyll and Hyde' play, Head Coach Rick McLaughlin said "I can't explain it. We let one go last night, but we got at it tonight and I'm real proud of this win. When these two teams get together, we play some great matches."
The Gauchos finish up their regular season by heading south to take on MPSF rivals Pepperdine and USC on the road.
Launched in January of 2009, the BE Great initiative is dedicated to maximizing leadership ability, strong on-campus interaction and general welfare for all 450 student-athletes and Intercollegiate Athletics staff at UC Santa Barbara. BE Great also focuses on personal and career development, diversity and social awareness and ensuring academic success. UCSB boasts an 83% student-athlete graduation rate.
As a championship-caliber program, UCSB Athletics recognizes the responsibility that goes with it. This simply means all student-athletes, staff and fans will behave with a champion's approach, creating a safe environment at games and events. All of those who attend, compete or work at Gaucho events are caretakers of the passionate, exciting and great experience that UCSB is known for. This is The Gaucho Way.
Gauchos Stun No. 3 Stanford on Senior Night
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