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Waves Sweep Away Gauchos

No. 5 Pepperdine flexes muscle early to keep No. 13 UCSB in check.

Freshman Jeff Menzel blasted a match-high 19 kills but it wasn’t nearly enough as No. 5 Pepperdine swept No. 13 UCSB on Saturday in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation men’s volleyball action at Robertson Gymnasium. Scores were 30-23, 30-25 and 35-33.

UCSB fell to 8-12 on the season and 6-10 in the MPSF, while Pepperdine improved its overall and league records to 9-8.

The Waves came out strong in the opening game and hit .444 to UCSB’s .200. Pepperdine ended up hitting .327 for the match while the Gauchos finished at .278. At the net, UCSB was out-blocked 12.5 to six.

The third game was a nail-biter. Pepperdine took an early 5-2 lead before the Gauchos tied it on three-straight points, thanks to a pair of hitting errors by the Waves and a kill by Mike Fisher, a senior from Santa Barbara High. After trading points, another Fisher kill gave UCSB its first lead of the set, 7-6.

The Gauchos pushed their lead to a game-high five points on two occasions before the Waves started to get back in it. A Cory Riecks kill got them back within one, at 16-15, but UCSB held the lead until a block by Riecks and Tyler Jaynes tied the game, 29-29. Following a UCSB timeout, the Waves took the lead on a kill by Paul Carroll. The teams traded points until Pepperdine put the match away on back-to-back kills by Carroll and former Ventura High star J.D. Schleppenbach.

UCSB out-hit Pepperdine .333 to .283 in the final frame.

Carroll finished with 18 kills, five service aces, three digs, two blocks and a match-high 24 points. Riecks totaled 14 kills while hitting .483 and Jaynes stymied the UCSB attack with 10 blocks.

Two other Gauchos hit double figures in kills: Theo Brunner had 12 and Mike Runkle amassed 10. Runkle and Ben Brockman each posted match-highs with nine digs. Brunner hit .421 and Menzel, the former San Marcos star, swung at .333 and registered 22 points. Freshman setter Vince Devany had 46 assists.

Click here for Saturday’s official box score and play-by-play.

UCSB is off next week for finals, then hosts California Baptist on March 25 in a nonconference match.

Scott Flanders is UCSB‘s associate media relations director.

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