Gauchos Clinch Playoff Berth, Close Out Home Season vs. Pacific, Stanford

Gauchos Clinch Playoff Berth, Close Out Home Season vs. Pacific, Stanford

April 6, 2011

• The Schedule

 Thursday, April 7, 2011 at 7 p.m. at Robertson Gym*

No. 6 UC Santa Barbara (13-11, 10-8) 

vs. No. 15 Pacific (10-17, 4-15)

Series record vs. the Tigers - 22-10

Streak- Won 12

2010 Series- UCSB 2-0
Series- UCSB 1-0

Last time out vs. the Tigers - W, 3-1

Friday, April 8, 2011 at 7 p.m. at Robertson Gym* 

Senior Night - 8 Seniors Will Be Recognized in Pregame Announcement.
No. 6 UC Santa Barbara (13-11, 10-8) 

vs. No. 3 Stanford (17-7, 13-6)

Series record vs. the Cardinal - 45-20

Streak- Lost 2

2010 Series- Tied 1-1

2011 Series- Stanford 1-0 

Last time out vs. the Cardinal - L, 3-0
*Rain could force the either or both of the matches from Robertson Gym to the Thunderdome.

• 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, 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.

• Gauchos Play Final Regular Season Home Matches

The Gauchos will be hosting their final regular season matches of the season when they play the two northernmost MPSF schools. On Thursday, UCSB plays Pacific and on Friday, third-ranked Stanford comes to town. Friday night's match will mark the final Robertson Gym (or Thunderdome if it rains) appearance for eight seniors.

• Rain In The Forecast, Match Could Move

With rain in the forecast for the weekend, UCSB's matches against Pacific and/or Stanford could be moved from the friendly confines of Robertson Gym to the slightly more comfortable confines of the Thunderdome. Please log-on to continuously to keep up-to-date. Based on the weather predictions, the Stanford match is more likely to move than the Pacific match.

• The Week in Review

The Gauchos split a pair of matches last week. On Mar. 31, they swept past UC San Diego and, in doing so, clinched a berth in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Tournament. One night later, UCSB dropped a tough 3-1 decision to visiting UC Irvine. The win by UCI allowed the Anteaters to leapfrog over the Gauchos in the MPSF standings.

• Playoff Bound!

UCSB's 3-0 sweep of UC San Diego last week guaranteed the Gauchos a spot in the MPSF Tournament. While their seed in the tournament is still up-in-the-air, they know for sure that they will be making their first appearance in the league's postseason tournament since 2007. Santa Barbara was out of the postseason mix from 2008-10.

• Menzel Steps-Up In Defeat

Senior Jeff Menzel, who continues to lead UCSB in kills with an average of 3.89 per match, head a season-high 24 in the April 1 loss to UC Irvine. The Santa Barbara-native had just five errors to go along with his 24 kills and he hit .432. Menzel, in fact, had nearly half of the Gauchos 52 kills for the match.

• Menzel Double-Digit Streak Ends, Begins Anew
With seven kills in UCSB's win over UC San Diego last week, senior outside hitter Jeff Menzel had his streak of 14 straight double-figure kill efforts ended. Prior to the match against the Tritons, the last time that Menzel failed to reach at least 10 kills was on Jan. 26 against USC when he had nine. He bounced back in the loss to UC Irvine with a season-high 24 put-aways.

• Career Milestones in Reach for Seniors

Jeff Menzel has accumulated 1,895 kills in his UCSB career, and has an outside shot at hitting 2,000. Menzel currently ranks third all-time in career kills, and figures to finish there. Senior setter Vince Devany has 4,181 career assists, which already places him third all-time in Gaucho history. He has 918 assists on the year, and has a good shot at reaching 1,000 assists for the third consecutive season.

• Slaughter Plays the Percentages
Scott Slaughter continues to lead the Gauchos and the MPSF in hitting percentage. Slaughter enters Thursday's match against Pacific with a hitting percentage of .471. He is one of just six players in the league over the .400 mark and he has helped UCSB jump to fourth in the team hitting percentage category at .329. Santa Barbara narrowly leads Hawai'I (.329) the team in fifth.

• Road Block

One of UCSB's Achilles heels this season has been blocking. The Gauchos are last in the MPSF in blocks at 1.92 per game. In fact, they are the only team averaging fewer than 2.0 blocks per game. The next lowest team is UC Irvine, which checks in at 2.11 blocks per game. In 18 league matches, however, Santa Barbara is slightly better as it is averaging 2.03 per game and ranks 10th.

• 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 by clicking here. 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.