April 17, 2009
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - A combined 23 kills from Cullen Irons and Jeff Menzel wasn't enough to bring No. 13 UC Santa Barbara a win in its last match of the season as it fell to third-ranked Cal State Northridge in straight sets Friday. Scores went 30-23, 30-21, and 30-28 on Senior Night in Robertson Gymnasium.
UCSB finished the season at 8-19 overall with a 4-18 mark in the MPSF. Cal State Northridge ended its regular season at 22-6 overall and 15-6 in the league.
Irons led Santa Barbara in kills with 12 and Menzel followed close behind with 11. Menzel ended his season 20 kills shy of 1,000 for his career. The sophomore also contributed four service aces, half of the Gauchos' total. Jake Rosener chipped in six kills, hitting a career-high .667 on the night. Andy McGuire and Vince Devany had 18 and 17 assists, respectively.
Gaucho seniors Mike Runkle and Matt Thobe both started the last match of their careers. Thobe had four kills and no errors in six swings to hit .667. He also recorded three aces, two digs, two blocks, and 8.0 points. Runkle picked up five digs in the libero position.
CSUN's Eric Vance dominated the match, totaling a match-high 20 kills while hitting .562. He also produced three assists, three aces, three digs, two blocks, and 24.5 points. Two other Matadors were also in double figures in kills. Tanner Nua put down 14 kills (.632) and Mike Gaudino had 11 while hitting .688. Gaudino committed no errors in 16 swings. Matt Stork had 44 assists while Ali'i Keohohou led the match in digs with 13.
As a team, the Matadors hit .598 with 54 kills, five errors, and 82 attack attempts. The Gauchos also had a solid attack as they hit .372 with 41 kills, 12 errors, and 78 attempts. Northridge controlled the service line with 13 aces.
The Matadors have won the last six matches between the two squads.
Tonight's match was a Faculty Free Friday event and all UCSB faculty and staff were admitted free of charge. The same deal is being offered at Gaucho baseball and softball games.
- UCSBgauchos.com -