April 6, 2010

No. 11 UCSB Hits Road to Face No. 4 CSUN with MPSF Playoffs on Horizon

April 6, 2010

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -

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• The Schedule
Wednesday, April 7, 2010 at 7 p.m.
No. 11 UC Santa Barbara (11-14, 8-11) at No. 4 Cal State Northridge (18-7, 13-6)
at the Matadome
Series record vs. the Matadors - 42-35
Streak - Lost 8
2009 Series - UCSB lost 0-3
Last time out vs. the Matadors - L, 3-0, (3/10/10)

Friday, April 9, 2010 at 7 p.m.
No. 11 UC Santa Barbara (11-14, 8-11 MPSF) vs. No 9 Penn State (20-5, 9-0 EIVA)
at Rob Gym (2,000)
Series record vs. the Nittany Lions - 7-5
Streak - Lost 1
2009 Series - none
Last time out vs. the Nittany Lions - L, 3-2 (3/12/07)

• 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.

• On the Air
KCSB 91.9 FM, UC Santa Barbara's student station, will broadcast Friday's match vs. Penn State. The match will be streamed on KCSB.org and on KCSB 91.9 FM.

• Faculty Free Friday for Match-up vs. Nittany Lions
Friday's match against Penn State is a Faculty Free Friday match. All UCSB faculty and staff will be admitted free when they show their UCSB Employee ID Card. Faculty and staff are encouraged to take advantage of Faculty Free Fridays at Gaucho baseball and softball games as well!

• MPSF Madness
With three conference matches remaining, the Gauchos are currently in ninth place in the MPSF, one-half game behind eighth place Long Beach State. The top eight teams in the conference standings after the final regular season matches on April 17 qualify for the MPSF postseason tournament. Five slots have already been taken by Stanford, Pepperdine, Hawaii, BYU, and Cal State Northridge. USC and UCLA are currently seeded sixth and seventh, respectively, with four conference matches remaining. USC needs a single win to secure a playoff bid. The Bruins need to win three of their last four matches to guarantee a spot. LBSU also has four MPSF matches remaining, but that fact may be an advantage for the Gauchos.The 49ers play UC Irvine on Wednesday before hosting a critical match-up against UCLA on Friday. If the Gauchos can beat CSUN on Wednesday and LBSU splits their pair of MPSF matches this week, UCSB and LBSU would be tied for eighth place in league standings going into the final weekend of play.

• Is That a New Tie?
If Long Beach State and UCSB were to finish tied for eighth place at the end of the season with identical conference records, the Gauchos would hold the tiebreak advantage over the 49ers and wouls secure a spot in the postseason tournament. In order for that to happen - to put it simply - LBSU would have to lose one more match than UCSB does the rest of the season for the Gauchos to qualify. There are a number of procedures to determine the winner of a tiebreaker. The first is head-to-head competition in MPSF between the tied teams. LBSU and UCSB split their MPSF matches this season, with the 49ers breaking down the Gauchos, 3-2, on January 13 at Rob Gym (23-30, 30-24,24-30, 30-26, 15-9) and then UCSB returning the favor on February 12 at Walter Pyramid, 3-2 (30-24, 26-30, 31-33, 30-22, 15-13). The next step is determining the highest percentage of MPSF sets won between the tied teams, but UCSB and LBSU has the same winning percentage as each has won five sets apiece. Where UCSB has the advantage is the next step, where points scored in MPSF matches between the tied teams is divided by points allowed in those same matches. The 49ers have scored 244 total points while UCSB has scored 251 points in those same matches. UCSB's percentage would be 1.03 (251/244) as compared with LBSU's .97 (244/251), giving the Gauchos a slight advantage. UCSB has not been to the MPSF postseason tournament since 2007, where it advanced to the semifinals.

• Gee-Golly Goswiller
Redshirt freshman Grant Goswiller is improving every time he steps on the court as of late. After setting career highs on March 27 against BYU in kills (6), assists (1), digs (6) and points (5.0), Goswiller recorded seven kills, one block, and 7.5 total points in the loss to Stanford on April 3, all career-bests. In 31 sets played this season, Goswiller is hitting .229.

• Good Ratings for this Nielsen
Blaine Nielsen opened up the Pacific match hitting a blistering .750 (7-1-8) through the first two frames, scooping 14 digs within that timeframe. Nielsen finished the night with seven kills and a .250 average, but his 15 digs set a career high and doubled his previous season high of seven (2/13/10 vs. UC San Diego).

• See You at the Matadome
UCSB has dropped two matches to Cal State Northridge so far this season, falling to the Matadors twice at Rob Gym. On January 7, UCSB opened the year by dropping a 3-1 decision to CSUN. The Matadors followed that performance with a 3-0 sweep of the Gauchos on March 10. UCSB hasn't beaten CSUN since April 6, 2007.

• Taming a Nittany Lion
No. 9 Penn State is currently atop the Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Associate (EIVA) standings with a 9-0 conference record and 20-5 overall record. The Nittany Lions have won six of their last eight contests and are lead by Max Lipsitz, who's . 534 hitting percentage is tops in the country, thirtytwo percentage points better than second place's Kevin McKniff of Cal State Northridge (.502). The last time UCSB and Penn State met was on March 12, 2007, when the Nittany Lions won 30-24, 30-28, 28-30, 19-30, and 19-17. Opposite hitter Evan Patak led the Gauchos with 30 kills, while middle Theo Brunner totaled 20 kills, hit .760, and had five blocks.

• 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 and is open on Saturdays, 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.

• BE Great
In 2009, UCSB Athletics unveiled the BE Great initiative. BE Great is dedicated to maximizing leadership ability, strong on-campus interaction, and general welfare for all 450 student-athletes and Intercollegiate Athletics staff at UC Santa Barbara. BE Great also focuses on personal and career development, diversity and social awareness, and ensuring academic success.

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