Jan. 5, 2011
UCSB is set to host the annual "Gaucho Collegiate Invitational" this weekend, Jan. 7-8. The Gauchos are proud to welcome a number of top teams to Santa Barbara, including national powerhouses such as No. 2 UC Irvine, No. 5 Brigham Young University, and No. 9 UCLA.
No. 12 Cal State Northridge is looking for a three-peat, having won the Gaucho Collegiate Invitational in both 2010 and 2009. UCSB, ranked No. 10 in the preseason polls, is looking to improve on an 8th place finish from last year's tourney that included three defeats.
UCSB Head Coach Rick McLaughlin felt good about his team, saying "we're going out there to improve, keep getting better. Our whole team is ready to do well, not just any one guy." The Gauchos have compiled a 6-2 record thus far at tournaments hosted by USC and UCLA, and began the New Year with an impressive win over Canadian college Laval of Quebec.
More important to the Gauchos is the final chance to get in top form before conference play starts next week. "There will be no disappointment," said McLaughlin, "this tournament has some top competition. There are five schools in the tournament ranked higher than us. We just want to get in the best shape possible and develop some chemistry before conference play."
The tournament will surely showcase some of the nation's top talent. Seven of the tournament's eight teams finished in the top 15 of the national rankings. The Gauchos open up the tournament with a match against defending champion CSUN at 10 AM on Jan. 7.
The official webpage for the tournament, including schedules and rosters, can be found here
To purchase tickets, please call (805) 893-UCSB, visit the Ticket Office located inside the Intercollegiate Athletics building on campus or buy online and print at home by clicking here.
The Gaucho Fund, launched as part of the Dare to Be Great strategic plan, is UCSB Athletics' annual giving program to provide vital funding support for scholarships, academic success and leadership development for Gaucho student-athletes. The Gaucho Fund is the anchor to the Dare to Be Great campaign.
GKids is the official kids club of UCSB Athletics. Members receive a free GKids t-shirt, free admittance to tons of Gaucho games, opportunities to be ball boys and girls at games, a special birthday greeting from Olie (the GKids mascot) and much, much more! For more information on GKids, or to become a member, please click here.