January 11, 2012

Kathy Gregory and Women's Volleyball Team Signs Two Standouts

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – The UC Santa Barbara women's volleyball team has signed two standout players to official National Letters of Intent, head coach Kathy Gregory announced on Wednesday.

Joining the Gauchos, who are coming off a 19-12 overall record and 11-5 second-place finish in the Big West, will be outside hitter Alex Barbeau from Salinas High and setter/right side Jaylen Villanueva from Los Alamitos High.

"We're excited to bring two impact players into the program," Gregory said. "We expect them both to compete for starting positions as soon as they step on campus."

Barbeau, who stands 6-foot-1, is a protoypical outside hitter, according to Gregory, who tallied 441 overall kills, 311 digs and 37 aces was named the team's MVP and led them to an undefeated season. Behind Barbeau she was the Salinas Californian Athlete of the Year and the Monterey County Herald Player of the Year as well as the league's MVP, the County MVP and an All-CIF selection.

"She has the physical tools to compete at the college level," Gregory said. "She possesses all the all-around skills we need and she is very athletic."

Villanueva is a very athletic 5-foot-9 who has the ability to play both the right side and setter positions. A two-time team MVP, Villanueva was a First Team All-Sunset League selection and captured the league title. She led her squad to the California state semi-finals. Villanueva's mother, Keesha, was a star player at Long Beach State.

"She is left-handed and athletic and she's also a great setter," Gregory said of Jaylen. "She has the ability to replace our two-time All-American Stacey Schmidt on the right side. She has played at the highest level and she is the type of player who is committed to winning at the highest level."

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