Countdown to Tipoff: Melissa Maragnes

Melissa Maragnes isn't only the tallest player of her recruiting class, at 6-2 she's also the tallest member of her team. Where her height alone will garner attention on the floor, fans and players alike should also notice her terrific athletics ability.

UCSB Head Coach Carlene Mitchell has said that Maragnes showed great potential coming out of high school with "a great touch from the 17-foot range, the ability to put the ball on the floor, to attack the rim, and natural rebounding instincts."

Maragnes is a center, who originally hails from Guadeloupe, a Caribbean island located in the Leeward Islands in the Lesser Antilles. She came to the United States when she was 13 years old and eventually found herself in Santa Monica, Calif. where she attended Santa Monica High.

With the Mariners, Maragnes captured Div. IV All-CIF Honors after averaging 9.9 points (second on the team) and 8.7 rebounds in her senior season.

As a junior, she averaged a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds per game. Her outstanding play earned her Second Team All-CIF and First Team All-League honors.

A standout on defense, Maragnes etched her name in school history as she set the team record for most blocks in a single season with 60.

Playing the forward position in high school, Maragnes consistently stepped up her game in the postseason. In 2013, she averaged 20 points and 11 rebounds in the playoffs to help Santa Monica win the CIF Southern Section Crown.

She and the rest of the Gauchos will open the 2013-14 season on Monday, Nov. 4 in the Thunderdome when they host Vanguard in an exhibition game.

Great season ticket packages are available for the Gauchos. This year's home schedule includes plenty of high-profile matchups including Arizona, Utah State, and San Diego State, a rematch of last season's WNIT game.

For more information or to purchase season tickets, drop by the Ticket Office in the Intercollegiate Athletics Building on campus, call 805-893-UCSB (8272) or click here.