Stanford Stages Comeback on Home Floor to Win 3-2

[media-credit name=”Jon Kopecky” align=”alignleft” width=”191″][/media-credit]The #3 Gaucho men’s volleyball team took out #15 Pacific on Friday by a score of 3-1, before losing in five games to defending national champion Stanford the next day.

UCSB (10-7 overall, 8-6 MPSF) gave up its lead only twice throughout the first two games against the Cardinal, but after a 23-23 tie in the third, Stanford went on a tear, winning that frame along with the next two.

Stanford junior Brad Lawson tallied 25 kills on the night, which is the most UCSB has allowed so far this season. The Cardinal also hit over .500 as a team in the third and fifth games.

Senior outside hitter Jeff Menzel had 16 kills on Saturday, which pushes his double-digit kill streak to 10 straight matches. Senior outside hitter Cullen Irons added 15 of his own for UCSB.

The team will have to put the loss behind them this week, with a pair of home matches looming. The Gauchos host Long Beach State on Wednesday before taking on Cal State Northridge on Friday. Both matches will be held in Robertson Gymnasium at 7 p.m.

49ers Use 20-0 Run to Hand UCSB Third Straight Loss

The Gauchos were down by only three at the half, but Long Beach State outscored UCSB by 15 points in the second to win 71-53.

UCSB junior guard Orlando Johnson scored 18 points in the loss, which was the Gauchos’ third consecutive. Long Beach guard Casper Ware scored 17 points in the first half and led all scorers with 26.  Forward T.J. Robinson posted a double-double with 19 points and 19 rebounds. As a team, UCSB grabbed 22 boards.

With only two conference losses, Long Beach has long since secured the top seed in the Big West heading into the conference tournament. At 10-5, UCSB rival Cal Poly is in second place. While the Gauchos have clinched a Big West Tournament berth, the loss drops them to 7-8 and out of contention for third and fourth place, which will be held by Pacific and Cal State Northridge. Both teams are currently 8-6 in the Big West.

As the conference picture stands, fifth-place UCSB will face Cal Poly in the first round of the tournament. The two teams will face off in the Gauchos’ final game of the season on March 5 at 7 p.m. at the Thunderdome.