No. 5 Gauchos Finish Regular Season With 3-1 Loss At No. 1 Pepperdine
April 14, 2007
Malibu, Calif. - A match-high 30 kills from opposite hitter Evan Patak wasn't enough as the No. 5 UC Santa Barbara men's volleyball team finished its regular season with a 3-1 loss against top-ranked Pepperdine Saturday at Firestone Fieldhouse. Scores of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) match were 30-24, 30-26, 25-30, and 30-25.
UCSB (19-11, 14-8 MPSF) had its four-match win streak come to a halt, while Pepperdine (25-1, 21-1 MPSF) won its 22nd consecutive contest.
The teams matched up well all night as each totaled 67 kills with the Waves holding a slight edge in hitting percentage, .358 to .353. Both squads attacked at .452 in the second set and each had 37 digs on the night. Pepperdine out-blocked UCSB 11-7.
For Patak, who leads the nation in kills, it was the seventh time this season he had amassed 30 or more kills. He hit .442 with two aces, seven digs, and 32 points.
The Gaucho middle hitters turned in an outstanding performance as Theo Brunner had 15 kills and David Kennedy recorded 12. Brunner hit a team-best .481 and led all Gauchos with four blocks. Libero Tyson Norton dug a team-high nine balls and outside Michael Fisher finished with six kills, an ace, four digs, and a pair of blocks. Setter Max Klineman had 64 assists.
Pepperdine, the 2005 national champion, was paced by opposite Paul Carroll, who had 22 kills, three aces, seven digs, eight blocks, and 29.5 points. Middle Greg Gaudino hit .733 with 11 kills while blocking seven UCSB attacks. Outside hitter Jon Grobe tallied a match-high 10 digs and setter Jonathan Winder had 55 assists.
The Waves out-hit the Gauchos .531 to .394 in the fourth game.
As the fourth seed in the MPSF Tournament, UCSB will host fifth-seeded and fourth-ranked UCLA in a quarterfinal on April 21 at Robertson Gymnasium (7 p.m.). The winner of the match will advance to the semifinals, hosted by Pepperdine, on April 26. The top-seeded Waves, who receive a bye in the quarters, will also host the championship match on April 28.