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UC San Diego Pulls Off Upset and Sweep

Tritons use just seven players in stunning No. 12 Gauchos in San Diego.

Unranked UC San Diego used its home court to its advantage Friday night, upsetting No. 12 UCSB in straight sets. It was just the second time in 34 meetings that the Tritons had beaten the Gauchos and it was UCSD’s first-ever sweep of an Mountain Pacific Sports Federation opponent.

UCSB fell to 7-9 overall and 5-7 in the MPSF, while UCSD is now 5-12 and 2-10 in the conference. The Tritons’ only other league victory was a 3-1 downing of reigning national champion UC Irvine back in January.

Friday’s scores were 30-27, 30-22 and 30-24.

Strong hitting propelled UCSD to the win as the Tritons hit .420 with 50 kills and 16 errors in 81 attacks. UCSB hit .244 with 39 kills and 19 miscues in 82 swings.

The Gauchos were led by Jeff Menzel, a freshman from San Marcos High, with 13 kills, two aces and 15.5 points. Senior middle Theo Brunner had 14 kills and hit .435, while libero Andy McGuire had a team-high four digs.

UCSD, which used just seven players, was paced by Frank Fritsch with a match-best 17 kills. Jason Spangler added 12 kills, while Russ Hardy hit .538 with nine kills and two errors in 13 sets.

In the midst of its longest road swing of the season, UCSB plays at No. 2 Long Beach State at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Scott Flanders is UCSB‘s associate media relations director.

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