Lantagne Welch Era Begins with Demanding Schedule, Season Tickets On Sale

Nicole Lantagne Welch is interviewed by the Central Coast's ABC affiliate at her introductory press conference. (Photo by Tony Mastres)

In 2013, the UCSB women's volleyball program will begin a new era as Nicole Lantagne Welch makes her debut in Gaucho blue and gold. Lantagne Welch announced an exciting 2013 schedule, highlighted by the season opener against perennial powerhouse Stanford on August 30 at the Thunderdome. Season tickets are now available via phone by calling 805-893-UCSB (8272). Tickets will be available online and in person at the Ticket Office in the Intercollegiate Athletics Buidling starting on August 7.

Season tickets cost $58 and children (8th grade and under) are free with the 2013 GKids t-shirt (available through the men's soccer Family Plan or sold separately).

With the new offering of season tickets this year, holders will receive special benefits, such as:

  • An opportunity to visit the Founders Room for light hospitality before each match
  • A free Nike long sleeve t-shirt celebrating the proud history of UCSB women's volleyball, which includes Sweet Sixteen, Elite Eight, and Final Four appearances along with 27 straight NCAA berths

The cost of season tickets includes nearly a 50 percent savings over purchasing them on a game-by-game basis (single game tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for seniors/youth/military).

This year's Santa Barbara Invitational (which typically is a tournament event) will feature one match against six-time national champion Stanford, a program that has made 32 consecutive NCAA Tournaments. The Stanford match will be part of the season ticket; however there will be no pass list for parents for this one match.

In addition to Stanford, the challenging home schedule includes eight Big West matches highlighted by longtime Big West rivals Long Beach State and Hawai'i. During the entire regular season, the Gauchos will face six teams that appeared in last year's NCAA Tournament.

To begin the Lantagne Welch era, the Gauchos return All-Big West veterans Leah Sully and Katey Thompson, and also welcome their highest ranked recruiting class, No. 30 in the country, in over a decade.

In February 2013, coach Welch returned to her Santa Barbara roots after serving as head coach for the University of Miami (Fla) for 12 years and appeared in five NCAA tournaments, including a Sweet Sixteen berth in only her second year at the helm. Last year, she was named the ACC Coach of the Year.

Look for blogs, videos, and previews on Coach Welch, the storied history of women's volleyball at UCSB, and the 2013 Gauchos leading into the season.

Along with season tickets, you can directly support volleyball student-athletes through the Gaucho Fund. Tax-deductible gifts aid volleyball resources such as scholarships, student services, and program support.