When I met up with middle blocker Scott Slaughter at Woodstock’s Pizza in Isla Vista, he was furious after losing a trivia contest. With a couple empty pitchers on the table, he and his buddies swore their team won.
Scott and his crew felt cheated and made it known, even calling out another team for throwing up in the bathroom. So what prize did Woodstock’s give the winning team that caused such a raucous on a Tuesday night?
“I don’t know,” Slaughters said. “I’ve never done this. But we had them, man.
Our answer was off by only one year!”
Whether the game is trivia, snappa or volleyball, Slaughter is a guy who does not like to lose. Currently enjoying his senior year at UCSB while playing for the #4 men’s volleyball team , Slaughter has accomplished a lot with that competitiveness.
Growing up in Newport Beach, Calif., Slaughter was the tall athletic kid who played every sport. Basketball was his passion, but his life would take a turn after a brotherly prank.
“My older brother was the only reason I got into volleyball,” Slaughter said. “The high school coach asked my 6’8’’ brother to play, but he didn’t want to do it alone. So he signed me up. I didn’t know anything about volleyball. I thought it was a girls’ sport. But I figured a skinny white kid can only go so far in basketball.”
In his junior year, Slaughter led Corona del Mar High School to a CIF State Championship. At that point, his family realized he might have a future in volleyball.
“I didn’t know how to get recruited,” Slaughter said. “My dad videotaped all my games, and we sent a video to every school we could think of. UCSB showed interest, but I had never been to Santa Barbara. My parents thought I.V. was a dump when we visited, but I loved it.”
After redshirting his freshman year in 2007, Slaughter began to see regular playing time alongside outside hitters Cullen Irons and Jeff Menzel. The three players developed together, and now the trio of seniors leads a fourth-ranked UCSB team looking for its first Mountain Pacific Sports Federation playoff appearance since 2006.
“This year is our chance to win a championship,” Slaughter said. “We’ve never made the playoffs, but almost all our starters are seniors now. We got a couple head cases, but when they’re on, they’re scary good.”
UCSB volleyball has never had a better opportunity to win a NCAA Championship than with this year’s squad. Stacked with seniors, the Gauchos have strong team chemistry and a ton of talent. At middle blocker, Scott Slaughter has recorded the team’s second-most blocks with 41 and the third-most kills with 87. He also ranks second in the MPSF with a season hitting percentage of .489.
But the season will end, and Slaughter will graduate at the end of the year. So what comes next for a collegiate volleyball player?
“I never got to go abroad during college so I want to play overseas next year,” Slaughter said. “Volleyball is an actual sport in Europe. Some of the Russian leagues are legit. But I want to go somewhere I’d like to live. I want to play on an average team and just blend in.”
For now, Slaughter’s sights are set on bringing a volleyball championship to UCSB. First, the Gauchos host #2 BYU in a two-game series this week with matches held in the Thunderdome rather than the usual Rob Gym tonight and Friday night. First serve of tonight’s match is set for 7:30 p.m.