Dec. 14, 2009
SANTA BARBARA-Calif. - For the second consecutive season, the UC Santa Barbara men's volleyball team has been picked to finish 10th in the 2010 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) Preseason Coaches Poll. Defending conference champion USC was picked to finish first over last year's national champion, UC Irvine.
Entering his second season at the helm, UCSB head coach Rick McLaughlin will work to improve on last season's 11th place finish in the MPSF. The Gauchos finished last season with an 8-19 overall mark, 4-18 in the MPSF.
The 2010 Gauchos return all six of last year's regular starters and boast a relatively young team. Middle blocker Sam Moisenco and opposite hitter Jake Rosener will be the lone graduates of this year's squad. The bulk of the workload will fall to the Gauchos quartet of juniors- outside hitter Jeff Menzel, setter Vince Devany, middle blocker Scott Slaughter, and libero Andy McGuire.
USC won their first-ever MPSF Tournament championship last year, eventually falling to the Anteaters in the 2009 NCAA National Championship. The Trojans return their entire roster, including All-American hitters Murphy Troy and Tony Ciarelli.
Irvine returns three All-Americans in Carson Clark, Kevin Wynne, and Jordan DuFault. The Anteaters received as many first-place votes as USC (5), but trailed in total points 112 to 110.
Stanford, who finished in fourth place in the MPSF a year ago, was picked to finished third in the pre-season poll. Following the Cardinals are BYU, Pepperdine, UCLA, Long Beach State, Cal State Northridge, Hawaii, UCSB, UC San Diego, and Pacific.
The Gauchos open their 2010 campaign by hosting the 46th Annual Santa Barbara Invitational Jan. 7th and 8th at Robertson Gymnasium and the Thunderdome. Joining UCSB in the eight-team tourney will be Cal Baptist, Long Beach State, UCLA, UCSD, BYU, UCI and Cal State Northridge. Santa Barbara takes on CSUN in first round action on Jan. 7th at 11 a.m. in Rob Gym.
The MPSF season opens January 13th as UCSB hosts UCSD in a 7 p.m. match.
BE Great Earlier this year UCSB Athletics unveiled the BE Great initiative. BE Great is dedicated to maximizing leadership ability, strong on-campus interaction, and general welfare for all 450 student-athletes and Intercollegiate Athletics staff at UC Santa Barbara. BE Great also focuses on personal and career development, diversity, and social awareness, along with ensuring academic success. UCSB has a 92% student-athlete graduation rate.
UCSB Athletics is proud to introduce G Kids - its new official kids club! G Kids members will receive a free G Kids 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 new G Kids mascot) and much, much more! For more information on G Kids, or to become a member, please click here.