Four Gauchos earn All-MPSF Honors

For the second consecutive year, UCSB had four representatives in the yearly MPSF honors: senior outside hitter Jeff Menzel, senior middle blocker Scott Slaughter, senior libero Andy McGuire, and senior setter Vince Devany.

The four honorees led the Gauchos to their first postseason berth since 2007. It will be the first time any player on the active roster will see postseason play. It is also the first postseason berth under Head Coach Rick McLaughlin, who was hired in 2008.

Jeff Menzel, who led the entire nation in kills in 2010, had another strong year in 2011. Jeff, who was named to the All-MPSF first team, racked up 403 kills on the year, which was good for fourth most in the conference. Though it was his lowest kill total for a year in his career, he also improved on his career hitting percentage by over .100 points- he hit .324 this year compared to .216 from 2008-2010.

Menzel led the Gauchos in kills all four of his years at UCSB, and this was also the fourth consecutive year that Jeff received all-conference honors. Menzel also finished in the top 10 in the MPSF in serving (10th) and total points (7th). For the year, Menzel led UCSB in the following categories: sets played (99), kills (403), total attacks (800), service aces (28), and reception attempts (699).

Senior middle blocker Scott Slaughter was named to the All-MPSF second team following a year in which he led the entire conference in hitting percentage at .505. Slaughter was the only player in the conference to hit over .500 for the season, and finished 50 points above the second place hitter, Stanford’s Eric Mochalski (.455).

Like Menzel, Scott had his lowest kill total for a full season (200), but had the highest hitting percentage of his career. Scott also led the Gauchos in blocks on the year with 86. This was the third consecutive year Scott has earned All-MPSF honors, after receiving honorable mentions in both 2009 and 2010.

Senior libero Andy McGuire had a year to remember in 2011 after setting the school record for digs in 2010 with 322. Andy earned All-MPSF second team honors alongside his teammate, Slaughter. McGuire showed that he was one of the premiere defensive players in the country, finishing fourth in the MPSF in digs per game at 2.35. Andy led the Gauchos in digs by a hearty amount- 2nd place Cullen Iron’s 122 digs were over 100 less than McGuire’s 223. Andy also had the highest reception percentage among the Gaucho’s main passers at .967. This was the second consecutive year McGuire received all conference honors after receiving an honorable mention last year.

Senior setter Vince Devany earned an honorable mention for the All-MPSF team after having a third consecutive strong year for the Gauchos. Heading into the MPSF playoffs, Vince sits at 4384 career assists, making him a near-lock to reach the 4400 career assist plateau. Devany will finish his career with the third-highest career assist total in school history. In 2011, Vince dished out 1121 assists- good for second in the conference. Vince was one of the more versatile Gauchos on the floor, finishing with 110 digs and 39 blocks.

USC opposite Murphy Troy was named the conference player of the year, while BYU outside hitter Taylor Sander earned “Freshman of the Year” honors. USC Head Coach Bill Ferguson walked away with “Coach of the Year” award.
UCSB begins postseason play this weekend in Provo, Utah against the BYU Cougars. The Gauchos went 1-2 against BYU this year, and will be looking for their first playoff win since 2007.