Gauchos Host UC Santa Cruz Friday Night in Light Week

Gauchos Host UC Santa Cruz Friday Night in Light Week

Feb. 14, 2008

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The Schedule
Friday, February 15, 7 p.m.
No. 14 UCSB vs. UC Santa Cruz
Robertson Gymnasium
Santa Barbara, Calif.
Online Audio:

Against UC Santa Cruz
Last Meeting: 2/4/06 at UCSB
Result: UCSB 3, UCSC 0 (30-24, 30-26, 30-30-20)
2008 Series: Have not met
2007 Series: Did not meet
All-Time Series Record: UCSB leads 13-0
Last UCSC Win: Never
Result: N/A
Current Streak: UCSB 13 wins

Several Matches to be Broadcast by KCSB
Starting with the Jan. 25 tilt against Stanford, KCSB will begin live broadcasts of select matches. You can either tune in to 91.9 FM or listen to the online broadcast at The double-header against Hawai'i Feb. 1-2 will be broadcast live by KCSB with the second match available online only. You can listen online to the Feb. 15 match vs. UC Santa Cruz and the Feb. 20 contest against UCLA will be on the radio as well as online. Other matches may be added in the future.

Track the Matches Online
For the first time ever, UCSB men's volleyball matches can be followed live online with Gametracker. All home matches and select road contests will be included. Just log on to, 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 even view player bios. Gametracker is free of charge and works on PCs and Macs. You just need to have Flash and Java installed and enabled.

No, They Don't Have to be adidas
The UCSB men's volleyball team and Athletics Department will be hosting a shoe drive on Wednesday, Feb. 20 during the UCLA match at Robertson Gymnasium. All shoes collected will be donated to a non-profit organization called Soles4Souls, which distributes shoes to people and places in need on five different continents. We are asking people to donate "gently used" or better shoes. Bring them to the match on the 20th and drop them in the bin at the entrance to the gym. All 19 UCSB sports teams will be donating shoes of their own. For more information, please visit

Brunner Named MPSF Player of the Week...Again
For the second straight week, middle blocker Theo Brunner has been named the MPSF/Molten Player of the Week. Brunner not only put up big numbers in two matches, he also surpassed the 1,000-career kills mark. He posted match highs with 20 kills, seven blocks, and 23.5 points in a 3-1 loss at No. 9 Stanford on Feb. 8. Brunner also hit a team best .533 (20-4-30). In a 3-1 win at Pacific on Feb. 9, Brunner tied a career high with eight blocks and hit a match best .533 (18-2-30). He also had team highs with 18 kills and 23.5 points. For the week, Brunner averaged 4.75 kills, 1.88 blocks, and 5.88 points per game. He hit a consistent .533 (38-6-60) over the two matches. Brunner's 14th kill against Pacific gave him 1,000 for his career, making him just the 10th Gaucho in school history to hit the mark. The 2007 AVCA All-American has 143 kills thus far this season, putting him at 1,004 overall. Brunner shares this week's MPSF honor with UC Irvine opposite Jon Stellar. Brunner was last week's AVCA National and MPSF Player of the Week after helping UCSB sweep a two-match series against Hawai'i by averaging 5.1 kills, one block, and 5.67 points per game.

Gauchos Get the Trifecta Against Pacific
UCSB moved to 3-0 vs. Pacific this season with a 3-1 (28-30, 30-26, 31-29, 30-22) victory in Stockton on Feb. 9. Theo Brunner had 18 kills, putting him over 1,000 for his career. The Gauchos used a well-balanced attack throughout all four games and finished with a .368 (66-16-136) team attack percentage. In the second frame, Santa Barbara posted a .469 (18-3-32) clip. Overall, Pacific hit .294 (72-27-153). Game three was the set of the match with 10 tie scores and seven lead changes. With the Tigers up 29-28, UCSB took a timeout and returned to reel off three straight points on two Pacific errors - one from the service line and one on the attack - and a game-ending kill by Mike Fisher. Brunner hit .533 (18-2-30) and matched a career high with eight blocks. His 18 kills gave him 1,004 for his career, making him just the tenth Gaucho in school history to surpass the mark. Brunner didn't provide the only highlights for the Gauchos. Jeff Menzel matched him with 18 kills and Fisher posted a season high 11 kills. Mike Runkle had a career high 11 digs to go along with 10 kills. Max Klineman and Vince DeVany split setting duties and had 36 and 23 assists, respectively. Pacific's Pekka Seppanen set a new career high with 33 kills. Clay Ostrander followed with 12. Setter Tyler D'Egidio had 61 assists and Mark Bauhs had 11 digs. Santa Barbara held an 8-3 advantage in service aces and out-blocked Pacific 8.5 to 5. It was UCSB's first road win of the year. The Gauchos took a 3-0 win vs. Pacific on Jan. 26 in an MPSF match and a 3-1 victory on Jan. 5 in tournament play. Both matches were in Santa Barbara.

Swept Away
UCSB saw its three-match win streak come to an end Feb. 8 as it lost 3-1 at ninth-ranked Stanford. Game scores from Maples Pavilion were 30-25, 23-30, 30-21, and 30-18 in favor of the Cardinal, who completed the season sweep of UCSB with the victory. Theo Brunner had a match high 20 kills and hit .533 (20-4-30) for UCSB. The senior All-American also posted match highs with seven blocks and 23.5 points. Jeff Menzel had 12 kills, but hit just .026 (12-11-39). Menzel and Scott Slaughter each blocked six Stanford attacks as the Gauchos held a 14-9 advantage at the net. Mike Runkle had a career and match best 13 digs while setter Max Klineman ran his assist total to 44. Stanford spread its offense to both sides of the net and got 15 kills from both Evan Romero and Matt Ceran. Spencer McLachlin followed with 11 kills. Charley Henrikson hit .600 with six kills and no errors in 10 sets and Ceran hit .522 (15-3-23). The Cardinal had its serve working and aced the Gauchos eight times. Romero led with three. Santa Barbara hit a lowly .094 (9-6-32), while the Cardinal hit .359 (18-4-39) in game four. Overall, Stanford attacked at .284 (65-25-141) and UCSB finished at .206 (54-26-136).

Give Me the Ball
Although Theo Brunner has led UCSB in kills in its last five matches (tying with Jeff Menzel in the most recent Pacific match), opposite Jeff Menzel has proven to be the workhorse on the attack, leading the Gauchos in attempts in all but one match to date. He has a total of 493 swings, good for an average of almost 11 per game. Brunner is second with 276, just over seven attacks per game. Menzel had a career high 61 sets come his way in the second match against Hawai'i. He is third in the nation in kills per game (4.97) and fourth in points per game (5.64).

Runk Junk
Junior Mike Runkle has been a factor on the court since moving to outside hitter from setter. He's had 10 or more kills in three of UCSB's last four matches, including a career best 12 against Hawai'i (2/2). He added a career best 13.5 points in that match. The day before, also vs. the Warriors, he hit a career high .562 (10-1-16). More recently, Runkle recorded double digit dig totals at Stanford (13) and Pacific (11) on Feb. 8 and 9. His 13 scoops vs. the Cardinal established a new career high. He also matched a career high with five blocks. In the Pacific match, Runkle posted a career high three aces and tied a career high with 13.5 points. Prior to this season, Runkle had just five career games to his credit. All five came in 2006 as Runkle did not see any playing time in 2007.

Career Highs Aplenty
Several Gauchos set new career highs during the Hawai'i series. Here are some of the more notable ones: Theo Brunner: 25 kills (2/2), 27.0 points (2/2); Max Klineman: 10 digs (2/1); Phil Mathews: 19 kills (2/2), 12 digs (2/2), 22.0 points (2/2); Andy McGuire: 20 digs (2/1); Jeff Menzel: 10 digs (2/2), 30.0 points (2/2); Mike Runkle: 12 kills (2/2), .562 hitting (2/1), 13.5 points (2/2); Scott Slaughter: seven kills (2/1), .778 hitting (2/1). A majority of UCSB's individual and team season highs were also set during the Hawai'i matches (see page 3).

Go Ahead, Slug Me!
UC Santa Cruz (11-5) enters Friday's match as the No. 3-ranked team in NCAA Division III, down from the top spot last week. Twice this season the Banana Slugs have strung together four-match win streaks. Their most recent came to an end with a 3-1 loss at Nazareth in Rochester, N.Y. on Feb. 9. UCSC got back on the winning track later that same day with a 3-1 win over Vassar. Santa Cruz is 0-3 against NCAA Division I opponents this year with losses vs. UC San Diego, Stanford, and UC Irvine. The Slugs took a game off of SDSU, but were swept by the Cardinal and Anteaters. All three matches were on the road.

Redshirt? I Don't Need no Stinking Redshirt!
Freshman setter Vince DeVany made his collegiate debut Jan. 26 against Pacific at Rob Gym. Originally scheduled to redshirt the 2008 season, Devany dressed against the Tigers and recorded his first career kill on his first career attempt. He also added four assists in the win. Devany and opposite Jeff Menzel are the only true freshman that have seen the floor so far for the Gauchos. Ben Douglas, Blaine Nielsen, Jordan Nuni, Jake Scalise, and Alex Williams are still scheduled to redshirt this year.

Preston Will Retire Following the 2008 Season
Ken Preston, easily the winningest coach in UCSB men's volleyball history and one of the winningest active coaches in the nation, will retire following the 2008 season, his 30th as head of the Gaucho program. Preston will remain a member of the UCSB Athletics Department through the end of 2008 and will assist in the search for his successor in the spring. Preston began his UCSB head coaching career in 1979. In his 29 seasons, he has compiled a 506-364 overall record for a winning percentage of .582. He has guided the program to 21 of its 29 seasons of .500 or better, including 19 winning seasons. His teams have qualified for 19 postseason appearances and in 1988, Preston's squad advanced to the NCAA Final Four and then the NCAA Championship match. In 2007, UCSB had one of its most successful seasons in several years with a 20-14 overall record and a 14-8 mark in the MPSF. The Gauchos, who climbed as high as No. 3 in the national rankings, posted a victory over visiting UCLA in the quarterfinals of the MPSF Tournament to cap the campaign. Preston recorded his 500th career win with a victory at IPFW in March. In addition, two players - Theo Brunner and Evan Patak - were named AVCA First Team All-Americans. Prior to coming to UCSB, Preston coached at Cal Poly, Wright State (Dayton, Ohio), and Westmont College in Santa Barbara. In addition to his collegiate experience, Preston has spent extensive time on the international circuit, serving in both head and assistant coach capacities at the Olympics, World Championships, Pan American Games, and the World University Games. A search for Preston's successor will take place in the spring. Preston will be a key member of the committee assigned to select the new coach.

New Mugs on the Coaching Staff
Head coach Ken Preston welcomes a pair new faces to his 2008 coaching staff. Most recently, Lee Nelson joined the Gauchos as associate head coach. Nelson replaced Aaron Mansfield, who left this summer to try out for the U.S. National Team as a libero. Nelson came from Fresno State, where he was the top assistant with the Bulldog women's program. He played at UCSB from 1985-89 and was also an assistant coach under Preston from 1997-99. Lee graduated from UCSB in 1991. He was raised in Santa Barbara and is a 1984 grad of Santa Barbara High School. Ricardo DoMonte was added to the staff during the summer of 2007. A native Brazilian, he coached the UCSB men's volleyball club team to a national championship in 2007. Since 2002, doMonte has served as the Volleyball Director for the Page Youth Center/Santa Barbara Boy's Volleyball Club. He has coached elite level players indoors and on the beach in both Brazil and United States, and has worked at several UCSB volleyball camps.

Gauchos Pick Up Four During Fall Signing Period
UCSB picked up four high school seniors during the 2007 fall signing period. Outside hitters Grant Goswiller, Mark Liebermann, and Matt Townsend, as well as middle blocker/opposite Jake Piva will don the blue and gold for the 2009 season. Goswiller, a 6-foot-3 outside, hails from Coto de Caza, Calif. and Tesoro High School. He has also played club ball for Balboa Bay and OC Riptides. Goswiller was an all-tournament selection at the 2007 Junior Olympics (17 Open) in Atlanta. Outside of volleyball, he was a member of the Lionsheart Community Service Club and the Invisible Children's Club. In the classroom, Goswiller was a three-year Presidential Honor Roll member. Liebermann is from Newport Beach, Calif. and Newport Harbor High School. The 6-foot-5 outside was part of a Balboa Bay Volleyball Club squad that took first place at the 2007 Holiday Classic. Piva, a 6-foot-8 middle/opposite, is from Valencia, Calif. and won a CIF title with Valencia High School, a perennial powerhouse in the Foothill League. With Santa Monica Beach Club, he won a 2007 title in the Open Division and has twice been named all-tourney at Junior Olympics. Townsend is from Granada Hills, Calif. and plays for Chaminade College Prep. A four-year letterwinner, the 6-foot-4 outside has garnered First Team All-Mission League honors. In 2007, he was a member of the Southern California Volleyball Association Regional Team that competed at the Slovenia Global Challenge. Townsend won gold at the 2007 Junior Olympics (17 Open) and silver at the 2006 JOs (16 Open).

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