No. 13 UC Santa Barbara Loses in Four Sets At No. 8 Long Beach State
LONG BEACH, Calif. - Jeff Menzel ripped a match-high 26 kills but the No. 13 UC Santa Barbara men's volleyball team fell, 3-1, at No. 8 Long Beach State Friday. 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 in front of 764 at Walter Pyramid.
UCSB fell to 8-17 overall and 4-16 in the MPSF, while Long Beach State improved to 12-13 overall and 9-11 in league play.
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.
The Gauchos hit just .094 in set one, while the 49ers swung at .438. Friend and Baughman each had six kills in the frame as LBSU held a 19-10 advantage in that column. UCSB led by as many as two points before Long Beach tied it at 8-8 and would not trail again.
Santa Barbara got it going in the second frame and hit .387. Menzel had nine kills and two blocks and Vince Devany dished out 12 assists in the set. It stayed close until Long Beach rattled off four straight points to take an 18-15 lead. However, UCSB came right back to tie it with three straight points on a Rosener kill and a pair of blocks. It stayed close again until the Gauchos collected four consecutive points to go up 25-22. LBSU could not recover from the deficit and a block by Menzel and Sam Moisenco gave the set to UCSB.
The third set was all Long Beach as the 49ers hit .471 and had 20 kills to UCSB's 10. Bittner led the Beach with seven kills while Menzel added six to his total. The score was tied twice, but UCSB could never grab the lead.
LBSU used a four-point run to take a 9-5 lead in the fourth set. UCSB came back to within two points on several occasions, but the 49ers scored three straight to take a 28-22 lead and put the match away.
The two squads split a pair of matches earlier in the season. Long Beach took a 3-0 victory in an MPSF match at UCSB in February and the Gauchos scored a 3-0 win in early January at the Elephant Bar Restaurant Collegiate Invitational.
The Gauchos play at No. 10 UC San Diego Saturday. The match is slated for a 7 p.m. start at RIMAC Arena in La Jolla. The Gauchos are 23-3 all-time against the Tritons, but lost 3-2 in early February in Santa Barbara.
UCSB closes out the season at home when it hosts Cal State Northridge on Friday, Apr. 17 at 7 p.m. Mike Runkle and Matt Thobe will be honored during Senior Night at Robertson Gymnasium. It is also a Faculty Free Friday match and all UCSB faculty and staff can come be a fan for free.
Tickets are available online at UCSBgauchos.com, by calling the Athletics Ticket Office at (805) 893-UCSB, or by visiting the ticket office inside the Intercollegiate Athletics (ICA) building on campus.
Getting to a UCSB volleyball match is easy! From Highway 217, veer right at Steck Circle onto Mesa Road, then take a left onto Ocean Road. Robertson Gymnasium will be on your right, and you'll want to park in Lot 27 in front of the Events Center (Thunderdome). There are kiosks in the lot that accept cash and credit cards to pay for parking. For more information on getting to UCSB, please visit http://ucsbgauchos.cstv.com/school-bio/ucsb-directions.html.
Article courtesy of UC Santa Barbara athletics.