UCSB Hosts CSUN in Season Finale; Seniors Runkle and Thobe Will be Honored

UCSB Hosts CSUN in Season Finale; Seniors Runkle and Thobe Will be Honored

April 15, 2009

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The Schedule
Friday, Apr. 17 - 7 p.m.
#13 UCSB vs. #3 Cal State Northridge
Robertson Gymnasium - Santa Barbara, Calif.
• Buy tickets online through Ticket Return
• Match broadcast online at KCSB.org
• Match broadcast at KCSB 91.9 FM
• Match available on Gametracker

Against Cal State Northridge
Last Meeting: 1/23/09 at CSUN
Result: CSUN 3, UCSB 0 (30-21, 30-25, 30-27)
2009 Series: CSUN leads 2-0
2008 Series: CSUN led 3-0
All-Time Series Record: UCSB leads 42-32
Last UCSB Win: 4/6/07 at UCSB
Result: UCSB 3, CSUN 0 (30-24, 31-29, 30-21)
Current Streak: CSUN five wins

How Can I Get Tickets? Let Me Count the Ways.
This season, fans have several options to purchase men's volleyball tickets. Online sales are 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. Of course, you can also buy tickets at the Rob Gym entrance beginning one hour prior to the start of the match. Individual match ticket prices are $7 for adults, $5 for seniors (55 and above), and $3 for youths (ages 4 to 13).

Can't Make it to the Court?
KCSB 91.9 FM, UC Santa Barbara's student station, will broadcast Friday's final match. Fans in Santa Barbara can tune in to 91.9 FM or fans everywhere can click to the online feed at KCSB.org.

Can't Make it to the Court? - Part II
UCSB men's volleyball matches can be followed live online for no charge with Gametracker. Just 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.

Faculty Free Friday for Finale vs. Federation Foe Forthcoming
Friday's match against Cal State Northrige 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!

Senior Night is this Friday. Mike Runkle and Matt Thobe will both be honored prior to the match, so make sure to get there early to fire these guys up for their final career match at Robertson Gymnasium.

UCSB Edged by UCSD in Tight Five-Setter
UCSB completed its road season with a narrow 3-2 loss at UC San Diego on Aprl 11. The Gauchos were up 2-1 in sets, but ultimately lost by scores of 26-30, 30-21, 30-20, 21-30, and 13-15. It was the first time the Tritons swept a season series from the Gauchos. The all-time series record is 23-4 in favor of UCSB. Jeff Menzel and Cullen Irons led the Gauchos with 17 kills each. Menzel added a career-high nine blocks. Jake Rosener finished with 11 kills and four aces, while Andy McGuire posted a match-high 15 digs. UC San Diego got a match-best 21 kills from Frank Fritsch and another 16 from Will Ehrman. Ehrman completed a double-double with 10 digs while Calvin Ross and Gerald Houseman each had eight blocks. Both teams were up and down all night with attack percentages as the Tritons finished with a slight .236 to .232 edge. Neither team was particularly effective from the service line as UCSB made 20 errors and UCSD committed 19. The front lines were producing consistent blocks, with the Tritons finishing with 16.5 and the Gauchos collecting 13.0. It was the ninth five-set match that UCSB had been involved in this season. The Gauchos are 3-6 in those long contests.

Long Beach State Downs UCSB in Four Sets
Jeff Menzel ripped a match-high 26 kills but UCSB fell in four sets at Long Beach State on Apr. 10. Five Long Beach players totaled 10 or more kills each as the 49ers won by scores of 30-20, 26-30, 30-20, and 30-24. Menzel provided a good chunk of UCSB's offense with 26 kills, an ace, three blocks, and 28.5 points. He also added five digs and hit a team-best .435 (26-6-46). Jake Rosener had nine kills and Andy McGuire had a match-high 11 digs. Long Beach State was led by Josh Riley, who recorded 17 kills. He was followed by Jim Baughman (15), Dean Bittner (15), Dan Alexander (10), and Kyle Friend (10). The 49ers out-blocked the Gauchos 13.5 to 9.0 as Alexander and Riley each had six blocks. LBSU won two of three meeetings between the two teams this season.

This Season Against the Matadors
UCSB and Cal State Northridge have met twice this season, with CSUN winning both contests. On Jan. 23 in the San Fernando Valley, Jeff Menzel had a match-high 13 kills, but the Gauchos were swept by scores of 30-21, 30-25, and 30-27 in an MPSF match. Cullen Irons added 10 kills and Andy McGuire recorded a match-high nine digs for UCSB. For CSUN, Tanner Nua matched Menzel with 13 kills and Eric Vance had 12. Vance and Jacek Ratajczak each had six blocks as the Matadors out-blocked the Gauchos 12 to 5.5. CSUN hit .416 to UCSB's .235. In January, CSUN defeated UCSB in four sets at the Elephant Bar tourney. Menzel had a match-best 27 kills and 31.5 points. Eric Vance led the Matadors with 19 put-aways.

MPSF Tournament Out of Reach
The Gauchos are out of contention for a spot in the postseason MPSF Tournament. The top eight squads in the regular season standings earn a place, and seven are already spoken for. UCLA and UC San Diego are still alive for the eighth slot. The Gauchos can tie Hawai'i for 10th place with a win over CSUN and two Hawai'i losses against USC. It is the second straight year that the Gauchos will not advance past the regular season. Last year's campaign was the first time since 2003 that UCSB did not qualify for the MPSF tourney.

I Get Around
Sophomore Andy McGuire, UCSB's primary libero, got the start at setter against UC San Diego last week. Not only did he have a match-high 15 digs to go along with 55 assists, he also collected his first career service ace and matched his career-high with a pair of blocks.

Remove the "Je" from Jeff, Add "Stu" and You Get Stuff
Jeff Menzel established a new career-high with nine blocks at UC San Diego (4/11). His previous high was eight stuffs, set in 2008 at UC Irvine.

Road Rash
UCSB went 2-9 away from Santa Barbara this season. The lone road wins were at Hawai'i in early March and at Pacific in late March.

I Am Irons Man
Cullen Irons has come on strong lately, leading UCSB in kills in four of UCSB's last five matches. He's also posted team-high point totals in four of the last six outings. Against USC (4/1), the sophomore outside/opposite recorded 32 kills and 35 points, both career-highs. In fact, the 32 kills matched Jeff Menzel for the most by any Gaucho this season.

Help is On the Way (up)
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 helpers in a four-set win at Hawai'i (3/5). Devany is ranked fourth in the nation in assists per set with a 13.40 average.

Menzel Pushing 1,000 Career Kills
Sophomore Jeff Menzel recently established new career-highs with 32 kills and 36.5 points against George Mason (3/11). To date, Menzel has 969 career kills (519 in 2009, 450 in 2008) and needs 31 (one less than his career-best) more to become the 11th Gaucho in the history of the program to reach the 1,000-kill benchmark. The last to do it was middle Theo Brunner, who collected 1,163 kills between 2005 and 2008.

One-Armed Bandit
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 1,160 attack attempts this season. Second on the list is Jake Rosener with 563, 597 less than Menzel. As a team, UCSB has 3,375 attacks, 34% of those coming by way of Menzel's arm. He's led the Gauchos in attempts in all but four matches this year and has posted 46 attempts in each of his last two outings.

Aces High
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.

Mountain of Youth
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 two juniors (Moisenco, MB; Rosener, OPP) with sophomore Andy McGuire at libero.

Gauchos Ink Two Highly-Touted Recruits
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.

BE Great
Earlier this year, 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. UCSB has a 92% student-athlete graduation rate.

Gauchos Give
With the arrival of Mark Massari as Athletics Director in October, UCSB Athletics launched the Gauchos Give community outreach initiative for all 450 athletes and 20 sports. Gaucho athletes give back to their community through free clinics, helping families during the holidays, providing financial and emotional support during tragedies, and touching the lives of youth groups.

The Gaucho Way
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."

- UCSBgauchos.com -