No. 8 UCSB Tries to Clinch a Playoff Spot Against UCI, UCSD

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March 31, 2011

• The Schedule
Thursday, March 31, 2011 at 7 p.m.. at Robertson Gym
No. 8 UC Santa Barbara (12-10, 9-7)
vs. No. 12 UC San Diego (8-16, 4-13)
Series record vs. the Tritons- 26-5
Streak- Won 3
2010 Series- UCSB 2-1
2011 Series- UCSB 1-0
Last time out vs. the Tritons- W, 3-0

Friday, April 1, 2011 at 7 p.m. at Robertson Gym
No. 8 UC Santa Barbara (12-10, 9-7)
vs. No. 6 UC Irvine (13-11, 9-8)
Series record vs. the Anteaters- 45-19
Streak- Lost 1
2010 Series- UCSB 2-0
2011 Series- UCI 1-0
Last time out vs. the Anteaters- L, 3-0

• Can't Make it to the Court?
UCSB men's volleyball matches can be followed live online for no charge with Gametracker. 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. You can follow each point and see player statistics and bios.

• The Week in Review
After taking a week off for Finals week, the Gauchos hit the road to take on the Cal Baptist Lancers in Riverside. Though the Lancers participated in the Gaucho Collegiate Invitational, the two teams did not face off during the tournament. Although the Gauchos finised higher the tournament than Cal Baptist, that did not show last Thursday night, as UCSB fell in straight sets. Before the match, the UCSB starting lineup underwent a major, if only temporary, overhaul. Sophomore seter Oliver Deuschman thrived with his playing time, recording a career-high 25 assists. Freshman setter Chad Kingi, who filled in for the Gauchos at the libero position, recorded a game and career high 7 digs.

• Playoff Bound?
At this date in the season, there are two spots left open in the MPSF postseason tournament. Though the Gauchos sit above tournament clinchees UC Irvine and Hawai'i in the standings, they have yet to clinch a spot because they have played less games. The Gauchos need just one win over the final six matches to reach the tournament for the first since 2007.• A

• Rough Patch
The Gauchos, who have had an up-and-down season all year, seem to have hit somewhat of a speedbump over the last month. UCSB has dropped two of its last three matches, and four of its last six overall. If history serves as any indication, the Gauchos are a team to be feared when they are perceived to be down- UCSB has a 7-2 record in matches following a loss this season.

• Shakeup the Lineup
For the majority of the season, the Gauchos boasted one of the most consistent starting lineups in the nation. For the first 20 matches of the season, Head Coach Rick McLaughlin sent out the same 7 guys at the beginning of every match. But starting in a match against Lewis earlier this month, the lineup has become much more volatile, as freshman middle Evan Licht, senior outside hitter Todd Travis, fresman libero Evan Mottram, sophomore setter Oliver Deutschman, senior middle blocker Wyatt Thomson, junior outside hitter Blaine Nielsen, and freshman setter Chad Kingi have all recieved starts in the past two matches.

• Double-Digits a Sure Thing for #1
With 10 kills against Cal Baptist last week, senior outside hitter Jeff Menzel was able to maintain an impressive streak. Jeff has now recorded 10 or more kills in 14 consecutive matches. The last time Jeff failed to do so was when he tallied nine kills against USC on Jan. 26. Menzel has had 10+ kills in 19 of the Gauchos 22 matches and has recorded atleast nine in all 22 matches.

• New Career Marks for Younger Gauchos
Against Cal Baptist last week, two younger Gauchos were able to record new career highs. Sophomore setter Oliver Deutschman, a prized recruit who has not yet had the chance to bloom behind senior Vince Devany, recorded a career-high 25 assists. Another setter, freshman Chad Kingi, recorded a career-high seven digs playing libero against the Lancers. Those seven digs also led the match.

• Career Milestones in Reach for Seniors
Jeff Menzel has accumulated 1864 kills in his UCSB career, and has an outside shot at hitting 2000. Jeff currently lies third place all-time in career kills, and figures to finish there. Senior setter Vince Devany has 4096 career assists, which already places him third all-time in Gaucho history. He has 833 assists on the year, and has a good shot at reaching 1000 assists for the third consecutive season.

• Tickets For All Matches This Season Are Available
Tickets for all matches this season are available by calling 805.893.UCSB, visiting the Ticket Office located inside the Intercollegiate Athletics Building on campus, or buy online and print at home. The Intercollegiate Athletics Ticket Office now has two parking spaces adjacent to the building, making it easier than ever for fans to purchase tickets. The two parking spots, designated specifically for the Ticket Office, are available during weekday hours, which are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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