Gaucho spikers dominated by Long Beach

Jeff Menzel and Cullen Irons were each held under nine kills and the UCSB men’s volleyball team didn’t serve one ace in a 25-18, 25-12, 25-22 loss at Long Beach State on Tuesday night.

The loss brings UCSB to an even .500 record at 3-3 with a 1-2 record in MPSF play.

UCSB, which before the match moved up to No. 5 in the national rankings, only held a lead in a set once in the entire match. That lasted only four points, as the 49ers steamrolled the Gauchos behind a match-high 13 kills from Jim Baughman and impressive team totals of six service aces and 8.5 blocks.

Menzel and Irons, UCSB’s big guns, were held to 9 kills apiece, which ties a season low for Menzel. Irons was able to equal LBSU middle blocker Antwain Aguillard’s match-high 5 blocks. The Gauchos recorded no aces, and only 5 team blocks.

The Gauchos have now hit .169 and .158 in their past two games, their two lowest totals of the season.

The Gauchos conclude their four-game road swing this Friday at Cal State Northridge. The Gauchos beat the Matadors in three sets to open the Gaucho Collegiate Invitational. After playing at CSUN, the Gauchos return home to host USC (Jan. 26) and Pepperdine (Jan. 28).