Jan. 29, 2010


Courtesy of UCSB

SANTA BARBARA, Calif.- - Finally the tides have turned.

Under pressure to turn around a 1-4 start, the No. 10 UCSB men's volleyball team upset its second top-10 team in less than a week, dropping No. 2 Stanford, 3-1, Thursday night at Burnham Pavilion. Set scores were 30-28, 31-29, 28-30, and 31-29 in favor of the Gauchos.

Cullen Irons connected on 22 of 40 attack attempts. His .375 hitting percentage matched a season-high. Jeff Menzel added 23 kills and a career-high five aces as UCSB hit .403 over the first two sets. Scott Slaughter started his first match of the season, adding 12 kills and three blocks. Vince Devany collected his fourth 60-plus assist night of the season, finishing with 62.

Kawika Shoji dished out 56 assists for the Cardinal (3-2, 3-2). Evan Romero collected a match-high 26 kills and Brad Lawson followed with 22. Romero and Lawson hit .449 and .455 respectively. Stanford out-blocked the Gauchos 23 to 6 and out UCSB, .384 (68-15-136) to .336 (77-26-152).

Youth prevailed in the first set for UCSB (3-5, 3-2), as freshman middle blocker Dylan Davis stalled a late Stanford rally with a kill to make it 29-27 in favor of the Gauchos. Garrett Dobbs answered with a kill to bring the match back to 29-28, but Davis matched his effort, finishing the set, 30-28.

After Stanford won the third set to prolong the match, UCSB found itself tied at 28-28 late in the fourth frame. Davis gave the Gauchos a one-point lead, matching a season-high 11 kills in the process. The teams traded service errors before a Jake Rosener ace ended the match, 31-29 in favor of UCSB.

The Gauchos recently upset upset defending national champions No. 2 UC Irvine. 3-1, last Friday at the Bren Events Center.

Haven't been to match? The Gauchos will be home on February 3rd to face Pepperdine at Rob Gym. Log on to ucsbgauchos.com and click on the "Tickets" section.

The Gauchos next match is Friday night at 7 p.m. at Stanford. To follow live, you can log onto ucsbgauchos.com, select the men's volleyball page and click on the correct match.

This season, fans have several options to purchase men's volleyball tickets. Online sales are through Ticket Return. Just go to UCSBgauchos.com, roll over "Tickets", and click on "Buy Now Print From Home." Then click on the Men's Volleyball section. 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, and $3 for youths. UCSB students are free.