Fifth-ranked UCSB men’s volleyball smashed #11 Cal State Northridge in straight sets Friday night (25-22, 25-9, 25-20) in one of its best offensive performances of the year. The Gauchos bounced back from a pair of losses and now hold a 2-2 record in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation play to start the conference season.
“We put a couple bad losses behind us and came out strong,” senior Scott Slaughter said. “We played smart volleyball. Nobody tried to do anything outside of his role. It all came together.”
Seniors Jeff Menzel and Cullen Irons were unstoppable against the Matadors. With a .778 hitting percentage and no errors, Menzel put up 14 kills. As outside hitter, Irons led the Gaucho attack with 16 of the team’s 48 kills.
“We came in focused and were a lot more competitive this match,” Head Coach Rick McLaughlin said. “We knew what we had to do and we did it. Jeff and Cullen played well in every phase of the game. [It was] an all-around good match for the team.”
The Gaucho offense was potent, but a meager four errors was the highlight for McLaughlin, as self-inflicted damage has been a struggle for UCSB early this season.
“We served very well and limited our errors.” McLaughlin said. “I say it all the time, but if our serving game is on, we play well.”
UCSB senior setter Vince Devany had 40 assists in the victory. The Matadors simply could not match the offensive pressure of UCSB, as CSUN had a total of only 28 kills.
The Gauchos return home for their next two matches, including the 2011 home opener versus #1 USC on Wednesday. The match is set to start in Robertson Gym at 7 p.m.