Finally Back at Home, Gauchos Host George Mason and UCLA

Finally Back at Home, Gauchos Host George Mason and UCLA

March 10, 2009

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Wednesday, Mar. 11 - 7 p.m.
#13 UCSB vs. George Mason
Robertson Gymnasium - Santa Barbara, Calif.
• Tickets available at Robertson Gymnasium one hour prior to start
• Radio broadcast by KCSB 91.9 FM
• Online broadcast at

Friday, Mar. 13 - 7 p.m.
#13 UCSB vs. #11 UCLA
Robertson Gymnasium - Santa Barbara, Calif.
• Tickets available online through Ticket Return
Santa Barbara News-Press Kids to College match

Last Meeting: 3/9/96 at UCSB
Result: UCSB 3, GMU 0 (15-7, 15-7, 15-13)
2009 Series: Have not met
2008 Series: Did not meet
All-Time Series Record: UCSB leads 5-0
Last GMU Win: N/A
Result: N/A
Current Streak: UCSB five wins

Last Meeting: 1/16/09 at UCLA
Result: UCLA 3, UCSB 0 (33-31, 30-28, 30-28)
2009 Series: UCLA leads 1-0
2008 Series: Tied 1-1
All-Time Series Record: UCLA leads 113-29
Last UCSB Win: 2/20/08 at UCSB
Result: UCSB 3, UCLA 1 (30-21, 31-29, 25-30, 30-24)
Current Streak: UCLA two wins

This season, fans have the option of purchasing men's volleyball tickets for home matches online through Ticket Return. 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. Individual match prices are $7 for adults, $5 for seniors (55 and above), and $3 for youths (ages 4 to 13).

KCSB 91.9 FM, UC Santa Barbara's student station, will once again provide live coverage of select men's volleyball matches on 91.9 FM and online at Here's the remaining season schedule:
• Mar. 11 vs. George Mason - 91.9 FM and online at
• Apr. 1 vs. USC - 91.9 FM and online at

UCSB men's volleyball matches can be followed live online for no charge 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 see player statistics and bios. Gametracker runs on PCs and Macs.

Two matches this season have been designated Santa Barbara News Press Kids to College nights - Friday, Mar. 13 vs. UCLA and Saturday, Apr. 4 vs. Pepperdine. All youth (8th grade and under) will be admitted to these matches free! The program is designed to give local youth the opportunity to experience the thrill of top-notch collegiate athletics events in person. For more information, please call 805.893.UCSB or visit

UCSB wrapped up its longest road swing of the season at Hawai'i last week, winning the first match 3-1 and losing the second 3-0. In the opener, setter Vince DeVany amassed a career-high 79 assists. UCSB posted season-highs with 86 kills and 84 assists. Four Gauchos hit double figures in kills, including Jeff Menzel, who had 23. UH's Joshua Walker led all players with 30 kills. Hawai'i out-hit UCSB .381 to .357, but made 22 errors from the service line. UCSB's play dropped off in the second match as the Gauchos hit just .175 and had only one player with 10 or more kills - Menzel with 21. The Warriors owned a large 14.5 to 4.0 advantage in blocks as Walker once again led the team with 17 kills.

Most players in the Hawai'i match (3/5) had less impressive totals than those of Jake Rosener. The opposite hitter had a career night as he set new career-highs in kills (18), hitting percentage (.452), and digs (10).

Middle Scott Slaughter also seems to like Hawai'i. In the Mar. 5 match, he set new career-highs with 19 kills and 21.5 points. He currently ranks fourth in the country with a .462 hitting percentage and 23rd in blocks per set at 1.23. Slaughter is the only Gaucho besides Jeff Menzel to lead UCSB in kills in a match this season. His 14 kills vs. Long Beach (2/7) and 12 vs. Pacific (2/20) were both team-highs.

After collecting a career-high 15 kills and seven digs in the first match at Hawai'i (3/5), outside hitter Trey Valbuena started the second match on Oahu (3/6), his first start since Jan. 10 against Long Beach State. He finished with four kills, three digs, a block, and 4.5 points. Valbuena started the first three matches of the season before an ankle injury kept him out of the rotation. He's played in a total of eight matches thus far.

Setter Vince DeVany has been toying with his single match career-high assist total all season. First, he tied it with 60 against BYU (1/30), then broke it with 65 vs. UCSD (2/6). Devany then totaled 69 at UC Irvine (2/11) and 78 against Stanford (2/21). Most recently, he amassed 79 in a four-set win at Hawai'i (3/5). Devany ranks fourth nationally, averaging 13.59 assists per set. The sophomore has 1,386 career assists, 897 this season and 489 as a true freshman in 2008.

Jeff Menzel set a new career-high with 32.0 points against Stanford (2/21) and matched his career-high with 29 kills. To date, Menzel has 806 career kills (356 in 2009, 450 in 2008) and will need 275 more to break into UCSB's top-ten. If he eclipses 1,000 career kills, Menzel will be the 11th Gaucho in the history of the program to reach the benchmark. The last to do it was middle Theo Brunner, who collected 1,163 kills between 2005 and 2008.

Jeff Menzel's arm has shown a lot of stamina as he has by far taken more swings than any other Gaucho. He has amassed 802 attack attempts this season. Second on the list is Jake Rosener with 340. As a team, UCSB has 2,208 attacks, 36% of those coming by way of Menzel's arm. For his career, Menzel has 1,794 attempts. He'll need 231 more to crack UCSB's top-ten list. The school record for career attempts is 4,208, held by Donny Harris (1994-97).

Jake Rosener dropped in a career-high seven service aces at Pepperdine (2/28), which tied for second on UCSB's single match record list. Evan Patak had seven aces five times between 2006 and 2007. The school record for aces in a match is eight, set by Patak in 2004.

With 18.0 points at Pepperdine (2/28), Jake Rosener became just the third Gaucho to lead the team in point production in a match this season. Scott Slaughter led UCSB with 18.0 points vs. Long Beach (2/7) and tied Jeff Menzel for a team-high with 15.5 points against Pacific (2/20). Menzel has led UCSB in the other 14 matches this year.

Five of UCSB's last 11 matches have gone to five sets. Unfortunately, the Gauchos hold a heartbreaking 1-4 record in those contests. The extended-length matches started on a high note with a win over BYU back on Jan 30 as UCSB came back from two sets down. In the loss to BYU (1/31), UCSB was up 2-1. Against UCSD (2/6), the Gauchos came back from 0-2 only to lose. At UC Irvine (2/11) and vs. Stanford (2/21), UCSB was up 2-1.

UCSB has played 10 of its 17 matches at home, with a record of 4-6. Wednesday's match vs. George Mason will be the Gauchos' first home contest since playing Stanford on Feb. 21. The team just finished its longest road swing of the year, four matches between Feb. 26 and Mar. 6 at USC, Pepperdine, and Hawai'i.

With four starts at libero this season, senior Mike Runkle has now seen time at setter, outside hitter, and libero during his UCSB career. At UC Irvine (2/11), he had a career-high 22 digs. That total tied for ninth on UCSB's single match list (along with Olympian Todd Rogers and Jan Carlo Zegarra).

This year's Gaucho squad consists of just two seniors - Mike Runkle and Matt Thobe. There are two juniors, six sophomores, and five freshmen. The recent regular starting lineup features four sophomores (Devany, S; Irons, OH; Menzel, OH; Slaughter, MB) and a pair of juniors (Moisenco, MB; Rosener, OPP) with a sophomore at libero (McGuire).

UCSB has received National Letters of Intent from two highly-touted recruits - middle blocker Dylan Davis (Corona del Mar, Calif./Corona del Mar High School) and setter Oliver Deutschman (Pacific Palisades, Calif./Crossroads School) - that will don the blue and gold for the 2010 season. The six-foot-eight Davis is widely considered the nation's top class of 2009 middle blocker and one of the top two recruits at any position. In club ball, Davis' highly-ranked Balboa Bay team won a silver medal in the 17-and-under division at the 2008 Junior Olympics, where Davis was tabbed a First Team All-American. He was also a starter on the U.S. Youth National Team that won gold at the 2008 NORCECA Championships and qualified for the 2009 Youth National World Championships in Italy this coming summer. Heralded as the top setter in the country from the class of 2009, Deutschman won gold at the 2008 Junior Olympics, topping Davis' Balboa Bay squad in the 17-and-under title match. Like Davis, the six-foot-four Deutschman was named a First Team All-American following the tournament. He was also a starter, along with Davis, on the U.S. Youth National Team that won the 2008 NORCECA title and qualified to compete at the 2009 Youth National World Championships in Italy.

As a championship-caliber program, UCSB Athletics recognizes the responsibility that goes with it. This simply means all student-athletes, staff, and fans will behave with a champion's approach, creating a safe environment at games and events. All of those who attend, compete, or work at Gaucho events are caretakers of the passionate, exciting, and great experience UCSB is known for. This is "The Gaucho Way."

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