The #14 UCSB men’s volleyball team crashed on the Waves yesterday, as the Gauchos (1-3) kicked off its Mountain Pacific Sports Federation season with a 3-1 loss to Pepperdine (1-0). The scores for the night were 30-26, 30-23, 27-30, 30-22.

“I think we played a good match.” Head Coach Ken Preston said. “We just made too many hitting errors.”

UCSB was out-hit .387 to .164 by Pepperdine. In game three, the Gauchos were able to hit .333, but they were held below .200 for the rest of the match. As a team, the Gauchos committed 36 errors on the match, 16 of which were blocks on the net.

“If you hit the ball in and have a good hitting percentage, you will have a good game,” Preston said. “But if you hit the ball out, or are blocked, you will lose.”

Freshman outside hitter Jeff Menzel led the Gauchos with 23 kills. Senior opposite Theo Brunner was the next on the team with 14 kills. Freshman middle blocker Scott Slaughter led UCSB with a .286 hitting percentage. Sophomore middle blocker Sam Moisenco and Brunner tied with four blocks, as the Gauchos were out-blocked 16 to seven.

The Waves were led by junior opposite Paul Carroll, who recorded 30 kills and a .523 hitting percentage. Throughout the match, Pepperdine hit above .300 for all four games, with the highest team percentage coming in the 30-23 game two victory, in which the team hit .433. At the net, junior middle blocker Mark Hulse led all players with eight blocks total and 2007 National Player of the Year senior setter Jonathan Winder was second with six blocks.

“I thought we played really hard,” Preston said. “We did some good things. If we cut out the errors, we did a good job. If we figure out some things, we can be a pretty good ball club.”

UCSB continues its road swing against USC (1-3) Friday at the Galen Center in Los Angeles.