No. 11 UCSB Hits Road to Face No. 10 UCLA, No. 4 UC Irvine

Jan. 19, 2010

Complete Release in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

The Schedule
Wednesday, January 20, 2010 at 7:30 p.m.
No. 11 UC Santa Barbara (1-4, 1-1) at No. 10 UCLA (1-4, 0-2)
at Pauley Pavilion (12,800)
Series record vs. the Bruins - 29-114
Streak - Lost 3
2009 Series - UCLA won 3-0
Last time out vs. the Bruins - L, 3-1 (3/13/09)
Match available on Gametracker

Friday, January 22, 2010 at 7 p.m.
No. 11 UC Santa Barbara (1-4, 1-1) at No. 4 UC Irvine (4-2, 1-1)
at Bren Center (5,000)
Series record vs. the Anteaters - 43-18
Streak - Lost 9
2009 Series - UCI won 2-0
Last time out vs. the Anteaters - L, 3-2 (2/11/09)
Match available on Gametracker

• Tickets For All Matches This Season Are Available
This season, fans have several options to purchase men's volleyball tickets. Online sales are through Ticket Return. Just go to UCSBgauchos.com, roll over "Tickets", and click on "Buy Now Print From Home." Then click on the Men's Volleyball section. 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 hour 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.

• Can't Make it to the Court?
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. You can follow each point and see player statistics and bios.

• Trading Spaces
Due to circumstantial weather, UCSB will travel to face UCLA on Wednesday night at Pauley Pavilion. Originally, UCLA was scheduled to visit the Gauchos at Robertson Gym on January 20th with UCSB traveling to play UCLA on Wednesday, February 17th. Instead, the Bruins will come up to Santa Barbara on February 17th in Rob Gym.

• It's a Snap
The Gauchos snapped their four-match skid to open the season last Saturday night against No. 12 UC San Diego, coming back to defeat the Tritons 26-30, 30-24, 27-30, 30-27, and 15-14 at Rob Gym. UCSB swung at a .329 clip on the night, connecting on 70 of its 140 total attacks with only 24 errors. Cullen Irons added a team-high nine digs to go along with his 14 kills. Blaine Nielsen went a perfect three-for-three hitting on the night, notching three aces in the process. Vince Devany dished out 63 assists. Jason Spangler led the way for the Tritons with 15 kills and a .310 hitting average. Cyrus Kiani and Frank Fritsch also contributed double-digit kill totals with 12 and 11, respectively.

• Oh So Close
On Wednesday, January 13th, the Gauchos welcomed No. 8 Long Beach State to Rob Gym. Jeff Menzel had a solid night, tallying 25 kills on 55 total attacks, but the Gauchos fell to the 49ers in five sets, 23-30, 30-24, 24-30, 30-26, and 15-9. True freshman Dylan Davis provided solid productivity at the middle blocker position, swinging at a .688 (11-0-16) clip while adding four blocks. Andy McGuire had a match-high 22 digs and Vince Devany dished out a match-high 63 assists. Jim Baughman (19), Dean Bittner (17), and Dan Alexander (10) recorded double-digit kills for LBSU.

• History Repeating Itself
In his 25-kill effort against Long Beach State last Wednesday night, junio Jeff Menzel moved into 10th place in UCSB program history in career kills. At 1,107 total kills for his career, Menzel needs just 26 more to surpass Rob Treahy (1994-97) for ninth place all-time in program history. On January 7th, Menzel became only the 11th Gaucho in program history to reach the 1,000 kill benchmark, accomplishing the feat on his 20th kill of the afternoon versus Cal State Northridge. Menzel also needs just eight more attacks to move into 8th place all-time in career attack attempts in UCSB annals.

• Brewin' For UCLA
UCSB was unable to secure a win in two contests against UCLA during the 2009 season. UCLA swept UCSB on January 26, 2009, 33-31, 30-28, and 30-28 at Pauley Pavilion. In its final contest of the season on March 13th, UCSB led 1-0 but eventually fell in four sets, 25-30, 30-27, 30-26, and 30-27. It has been a rough start to the new decade for this year's Bruins. Despite a career week from Jack Polales, who combined for 44 kills in seven sets (6.29 k/s), the Bruins dropped their MPSF openers at home against No. 7 Pepperdine and No. 1 USC.

• Hangin' from the `Vine
The Gauchos have lost their last nine contests against 2009 national champion, No. 4 UC Irvine. UCSB opened 2009 MPSF play against the Anteaters by dropping a 3-1 decision at Rob Gym on January 14th. UCSB took the Anteaters to the brink in its February 11, 2009 match at the Bren Center, falling in five sets, 30-28, 27-30, 30-32, 31-29, and 15-12. Four Gauchos hit double-figures in kills, including Jeff Menzel (27), Cullen Irons (15), Scott Slaughter (12), and Jake Rosener (10). Slaughter equaled his career-best with 10 blocks.

• Nielsen Ratings
Blaine Nielsen received his first ample playing time of the young season against UC San Diego (1/16), entering the match in the second set and fueling a Gaucho rally in the third set with three consecutive aces. Nielsen finished the match swinging a perfect 3-for-3 in addition to setting season highs in kills (3),

• Hey, Who's the New Guy?
True freshman Dylan Davis has become an integral part of UCSB's front line in just his second quarter on campus. The 6'9'' middle blocker out of Newport Beach, Calif. has started all five matches this season adjacent to senior middle blocker Sam Moisenco. Davis connected on 11 of his 16 kill attempts against Long Beach State (1/16) with no errors for a .688 hitting percentage. He added three digs, four block-assists and an ace in the five-set loss.

• Scoop Dog, Baby!
Andy McGuire scooped a career-high 22 digs against Long Beach State (1/13) before lifting another seven digs against UC San Diego (1/16). McGuire now ranks 18th in the country with 2.46 digs per set.

• BE Great
In 2009, UCSB Athletics unveiled the BE Great initiative. BE Great 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.