No. 9 UCSB Plays Host to No. 14 Pacific and Stanford this Weekend at the Thunderdome

Jan. 26, 2006

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Friday, January 27, 7:05 p.m.
No. 9 UC Santa Barbara vs. No. 14 Pacific
Santa Barbara, Calif.

Saturday, January, 28, 7:05
No. 9 UC Santa Barbara vs. Stanford
Santa Barbara, Calif.

The Skinny
The Gauchos enter the weekend with a 2-5 record overall and a 1-3 mark in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. UCSB is in the midst of a three game losing streak after dropping two matches to No. 2 Brigham Young last week in Provo, Utah. Before that, Santa Barbara split with No. 7 Hawaii at home.

Make note, this weekend's games will be played at the UCSB Events Center instead of Robertson Gym.

The Opponents
On Friday, UCSB will host No. 14 Pacific, a team that sports an identical record to the Gauchos at 2-5 overall and 1-3 in the MPSF. Pacific is coming off a 3-0 loss to top-ranked Long Beach State. UCSB has won the past three matches with Pacific dating back to the 2004 season and holds a 10-9 all-time series edge. Last year, the Gauchos won both matches by a 3-1 count. This year's Pacific squad is led by junior outside hitter Andreas Baboulidis (4.15 kills per game, .335 hitting percentage) and senior outside hitter Brian Adamson (3.68 kills per game).

Stanford comes into the weekend with a 2-6 overall record and a 1-3 mark in the MPSF. The Cardinal will travel to Northridge Friday before coming to Santa Barbara for Saturday night's match. The Cardinal are led by senior opposite Ben Reddy who is averaging 4.63 kills per game and has recorded 10 service aces on the year.

Patak Yourself on the Back
2005 All-American Evan Patak has continued to demand the ball from his teammates, and with good reason. The junior opposite is averaging 5.88 kills per game on a .268 hitting clip while enjoying success at serve, registering 18 services aces in 25 games played for a 0.72 average. Patak is also third on the team in blocks with 13. Thus far in 2006, Patak has accumulated 173.0 points. Last week against BYU, Patak recorded 47 kills in seven total games, including 29 in the Gauchos' 3-1 loss on Friday night.

Long Distance Brunner
Though limited to six kills in the Gauchos last game against BYU, Theo Brunner has been the Gauchos' most consistent hitter in 2006. The sophomore middle blocker is averaging 2.16 kills per game on a .383 hitting percentage. Brunner is also tied for the team lead in blocks with 14, equaling teammate Michael Fisher's tally.

Klineman His Way to the Top
True freshman setter Max Klineman has come on strong for Santa Barbara in conference play, averaging 14.5 assists per game while playing solid defense. Klineman is averaging 1.00 digs per game in MPSF play.

It's a Team Game
As a collective unit, the Gauchos have struggled statistically against their opponents. UCSB is hitting .293 to its opponents' .394 percentage, setting .45 below its opponents' percentage (.465 to .510), digging at a rate just below its opponents' (7.8 to 8.1) and receiving 0.8 less blocks per game than the opponent. However, the Gauchos are receiving the ball a bit better (.954 to .938) and serving the ball more aggressively than their opponents (1.4 aces per/game to 1.1).