December 21, 2007

Men's Volleyball Picks Up Four During Fall Signing Period

Dec. 21, 2007

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Head coach Ken Preston announced Friday that the UC Santa Barbara men's volleyball team picked up four high school seniors during the 2007 fall signing period. Outside hitters Grant Goswiller, Mark Liebermann, and Matt Townsend, as well as middle blocker/opposite Jake Piva will don the blue and gold for the 2009 season.

Goswiller, a 6-foot-3 outside, hails from Coto de Caza, Calif. and Tesoro High School. He has also played club ball for Balboa Bay and OC Riptides. Goswiller was an all-tournament selection at the 2007 Junior Olympics (17 Open) in Atlanta. Outside of volleyball, he was a member of the Lionsheart Community Service Club and the Invisible Children's Club. In the classroom, Goswiller was a three-year Presidential Honor Roll member.

"Grant has a very quick arm and good jump," said Preston, who is in his 30th season leading the Gauchos. "He has a tremendous upside as he is just 17 years old and still growing. He is a very focused player with great ball control."

Liebermann is from Newport Beach, Calif. and Newport Harbor High School. The 6-foot-5 outside was part of a Balboa Bay Volleyball Club squad that took first place at the 2007 Holiday Classic.

"Mark has steadily improved and he will be an important asset to our team in the future," commented Preston. "He has a heavy arm, which lends itself to an excellent jump serve. He also blocks well, has solid ball control, and makes very few hitting errors."

Piva, a 6-foot-8 middle/opposite, is from Valencia, Calif. and won a CIF title with Valencia High School, a perennial powerhouse in the Foothill League. With Santa Monica Beach Club, he won a 2007 title in the Open Division and has twice been named all-tourney at Junior Olympics.

"Jake is a huge presence on the volleyball court," said Preston. "His size and emotion make him intimidating. He has a very good arm, which has led him to playing at the opposite position in club ball. Having experience as both a middle and opposite will be very good for his development. He will be an extraordinary addition to our team."

Townsend is from Granada Hills, Calif. and plays for Chaminade College Prep. A four-year letterwinner, the 6-foot-4 outside has garnered First Team All-Mission League honors. In 2007, he was a member of the Southern California Volleyball Association Regional Team that competed at the Slovenia Global Challenge. Townsend won gold at the 2007 Junior Olympics (17 Open) and silver at the 2006 JOs (16 Open).

"Matt is an all-around accomplished volleyball player," stated Preston. "He has a very smooth playing style, a quiet confidence, and a very even temperament on the floor. His passing skills are excellent and he hits with high efficiency. Matt did not want to attend any college except UCSB."

The Gauchos open their 2008 campaign with an exhibition match against Canadian powerhouse Alberta on Jan. 2 at Robertson Gymnasium (7 p.m.). The regular season kicks off with the annual Elephant Bar Restaurant Collegiate Invitational Jan. 4-5 in Santa Barbara. Joining UCSB will be Alberta, Cal State Northridge, Long Beach State, Pacific, Stanford, UC Irvine, and USC.

-- UCSBGauchos.com --

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