Jan. 22, 2010
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Coming off a heartbreaking loss Wednesday night versus UCLA, the No. 11 UC Santa Barbara men's volleyball team is poised to face defending national champion, No. 4 UC Irvine, Friday night at 7 p.m. in the Bren Events Center.
In their match Wednesday night at Pauley Pavilion, the Gauchos (1-5, 1-2) led two sets to one but were unable to stave off No. 10 UCLA, losing in five, 30-19, 23-30, 24-30, 30-25, and 15-11. It marks the fourth time the Gauchos have lost in five sets this season and it is the third time they have let a 2-1 set lead slip away.
At 1, 132 total kills for his career, junior outside hitter Jeff Menzel needs just a single kill in Friday night's match to surpass Rob Treahy (1994-'97) for ninth place all-time in program history. Early this season, Menzel became just the 11th Gaucho in program history to reach the 1,000-kill benchmark. The Santa Barbara native currently leads the MPSF in kills per set (5.29) and points per set (5.98).
UC Irvine (4-3, 1-2) has controlled the run of play against UCSB in recent years, winning the last nine contests between the squads. The last time the Gauchos took down the Anteaters was over four years ago on 1/6/06 during the EBar/Santa Barbara Collegiate Invitational.
In 2009, UCSB opened MPSF play against UCI, dropping a 3-1 decision at Rob Gym on January 14th. UCSB took the Anteaters to the brink in its February 11th match at the Bren Center, falling in five sets, 30-28, 27-30, 30-32, 31-29, and 15-12. Four Gauchos notched double-digit kill tallies in that match- Menzel (27), Cullen Irons (15), Scott Slaughter (12) and Jake Rosener (10).
To follow the match, 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.
The Gauchos will also be on the road next week as they take on Stanford and Pacific on Thursday and Friday nights, respectively. Both matches will be available on Gametracker.
UCSB returns home February 3rd to face Pepperdine in Rob Gym. USC comes into town two days later on Friday, February 5th. Start time for both matches is set for 7 p.m.
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.
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.