February 22, 2006

No. 8 Gauchos Set to Host Cal Baptist on Friday

Feb. 22, 2006

This Week's Matchups:
Friday, February 24, 7:05 p.m.
No. 11 UC Santa Barbara vs. Cal Baptist
Santa Barbara, Calif.
Roberston Gym

The Skinny
The Gauchos enter this week's match at 8-8 overall and 6-6 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation after consecutive wins over then-No. 2 ranked Pepperdine and USC last week. UCSB's .500 mark in conference ties them with two other teams, Cal State Northridge and UCLA, for sixth place in the MPSF. Brigham Young is currently the pace-setter in the conference at 10-2 while UC Irvine sits in second at 7-2. Santa Barbara will look to improve on its 6-4 home record Friday against the Lancers.

Scouting the Opponents
NAIA member Cal Baptist enters the week with a 7-6 overall record and is coming off a win over Division II Lewis. The Lancers are led by Shamsu Awudu who is currently averaging 5.43 kills per game on a .415 hitting percentage. Eric Plunkett handles setting duties and boasts a .603 percentage.

Patak Yourself on the Back
Since returning from the sideline where he nursed an injured shoulder, junior opposite Evan Patak has recorded 54 kills in two matches, averaging six kills per game. In UCSB's upset win over Pepperdine last week, Patak tallied 29 kills along with two service aces. Patak currently sports the nation's third-best kills per game average at 5.57, second-best points per game average (6.47 per game) and his .632 ace-per-game average is third among Division I and II schools.

Long Distance Brunner
Sophomore middle blocker Theo Brunner's is also among the nation's elite on the attack. Brunner's hitting percentage of .444 is the tenth highest in the nation. Brunner leads the Gauchos in blocking at 0.77 blocks per game and his 2.54 kills per game is fourth best on the team.

Klineman the Mountain
Freshman setter Max Klineman is already establishing himself as one of the best setters in the nation. Klineman currently ranks fourth in the nation with 13.46 assists per game. The Manhattan Beach, Calif. native also leads a Gaucho set that boasts a .472 assist percentage.

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