Gauchos Picked Fifth in Preseason Vote

Aug. 19, 2009

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SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The UC Santa Barbara men's water polo team was picked to finish fifth in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation standings according to a preseason coaches' poll released by the conference on Wednesday.

The Gauchos received 32 points in the poll, 10 behind fourth-ranked UCLA and six points ahead of Pepperdine and UC Irvine, which were tied sixth.

USC, the 2008 NCAA Champion and MPSF Champion, was ranked first with six first-place votes and 61 total points. No. 2 Stanford received the remaining three first-place votes and received 59 total points. Cal completes the top-three with 51 points.

Long Beach State (16 points) and Pacific (11 points) round out the poll, ranking eighth and ninth respectively.

UCSB's fifth ranking likely reflects its finish in the 2008 year-end standings. The Gauchos tied Cal for fifth in league with a 4-4 conference record and then took fifth in the MPSF Tournament last November.

Santa Barbara is expected to return 12 players from last year's squad that went 17-11 overall. Among the returnees is First Team All-American Milos Golic, who led UCSB and the conference with an average of 3.03 goals per game last season. Rejoining the active roster after redshirting last season is Zsombor Vincze, a two-time MPSF Honorable Mention.

Other key returnees include junior goalkeeper Fraser Bunn, senior drivers Sean Castillo and Stefan Partelow, sophomore two-meter player Noah Smith and redshirt freshman Brian Shoemaker.

Seven incoming freshmen were signed National Letters of Intent by head coach Wolf Wigo during the off-season, several of which have the potential to make an immediate impact.

The men's water polo season will begin on Sept. 5-6 at the UC San Diego Triton Invitational where the Gauchos will face the host Tritons in the first round.

Water polo fans, new this year, donations to The Gaucho Fund - regardless of the sport it supports - will be part of the "One Donation is Gold" system. This allows donors to purchase priority/premium seating and parking at UCSB games across several sports in addition to other benefits.

If you donate to water polo you will have the opportunity to purchase tickets in the Gold Zone (priority/premium seats) at Harder Stadium for men's soccer, which includes complimentary priority parking and cushioned chair-backed seating. No longer will separate donations need to be made to secure priority seating to different UCSB sports. One donation, one fund: The Gaucho Fund.

Season tickets for the 2009 men's soccer season are on sale for only five bucks a game. Fans who purchase 2009 season tickets will be guaranteed the opportunity to buy tickets for the 2010 Men's NCAA College Cup hosted by UCSB at Meredith Field at Harder Stadium Dec. 10-12, 2010. To accompany the successful "Soccer Town, USA" slogan as part of the College Cup bid, a discounted family valued offer is also available where a family of five can catch games for only $2.50 per game! Family Plan package also includes three free youth t-shirts and memberships to the new UCSB kids club: GKids. Fans can easily buy tickets online or by calling 805-893-UCSB. To purchase your tickets click here.

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