UCSB alums Menzel and Patak named to Team USA

Former UCSB men’s volleyball standouts Jeff Menzel and Evan Patak have both been named to Team USA’s roster for the 2013 FIVB World League Tournament, it was announced by USA Volleyball on Monday.

Menzel and Patak are part of a 22-man squad that is currently ranked fifth in the world. Team USA placed second in the World League last year, and will be looking for their first championship since 2008.

The World League is the most presigious annual tournament in international volleyball, featuring 18 teams and seven weeks of pool play before a Final Four round in July.

It is the first appearance for Menzel in the World League, while Patak will be making his fourth trip to the tourney after having suited up for Team USA from 2009-2011. Menzel previously donned the red, white, and blue in 2011 when he participated in the World University Games and the Pan-American Cup.

In the 2013 World League, the U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team will host Argentina on June 7-8 in Wichita at Charles Koch Arena; France on June 14-15 in Tulsa at the Tulsa Convention Center Arena and Bulgaria on June 28-29 in Reno at the Reno Events Center.

The team will then travel to Poland for matches on July 5 and 7 and to Brazil for their final pool play matches on July 13-14.

The Final Four will take place from July 17-21 in Mar Del Plata, Argentina.

Menzel, who graduated in 2011 after leading the Gauchos to the cusp of a national championship, was one of the most dominant outsides in program history. The Santa Barbara native finished his career with the third-most kills (2,074), most kill attempts (4,569), second-most aces (135) and sixth-most digs (604) in school history. He spent the last season in Italy playing for the New Mater Volleyball Club.

Patak, an opposite who wrapped up his UCSB career in 2007, left campus with the career aces record (255) while finishing just two kills short of the Gauchos’ career kills record. He spent the last season playing in France’s Ligue A with Spacer’s Toulouse Volleyball Club.

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