SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Headlined with seven matches against NCAA Tournament participants last season, the UCSB Women's Volleyball team has announced a competitive regular season schedule for 2014.
Coming off its first Big West Championship in eight years, Santa Barbara will open 2014 on the road in tournaments at Colorado State, Sacramento State, and Cal, respectively.
On Aug. 29-30, the Gauchos will open the season in Fort Collins, Col. where they'll take on Virginia Commonwealth, Marquette, and host Colorado State.
The Golden Eagles are poised to be one of UCSB's toughest matchups of the nonconference schedule, as they swept their way to the second round in the 2013 postseason. The Rams also qualified for the postseason last year, but they fell to Cal State Northridge in five sets in the opening round. Marquette and CSU finished 2013 ranked No. 11 and No. 23 in the RPI, respectively.
A week later, UCSB will head up to Sacramento to face Loyola Marymount, Fresno State, and the Hornets. The Gauchos have played all three teams in recent years, as they topped both the Lions in 2012 (3-0) and Sacramento State in 2010 (3-1). The last time UCSB dueled with the Bulldogs was in 2012 when Fresno State clinched a narrow 3-2 victory.
The Gauchos' final road tournament will be held at Cal, where it will take on Nevada and Pacific along with the Golden Bears.
This will be the second consecutive year UCSB will be competing in the Cal Tournament, as the team went 2-0 last season, including a 3-2 win over the Wolf Pack. The Gauchos will have a competitive match up versus Cal, as the Golden Bears made it to the second round in last year's NCAA Tournament.
On Sep. 19-20, the Gauchos will open their home schedule in the Thunderdome with a tournament that they are co-hosting with Cal Poly. During that weekend, UCSB will have its home opener against Santa Clara (Sep. 19) and will also take on Northern Illinois (Sep. 20).
A week after the tournament on Sep. 27, the Gauchos and the Mustangs will resume the Blue-Green Rivalry with the their Big West opener in the Thunderdome at 7 p.m.
The match will be the first of a three-game home stand for UCSB, as the team will play host to UC Riverside and UC Davis the following week (Oct. 3-4).
Two of UCSB's marquee matches in conference play come against its fellow 2013 Big West title holders: Cal State Northridge (Oct. 18) and Hawai'i (Nov. 21). Both teams made it to the second round in last year's postseason, but the Gauchos went a combined 3-1 against them in 2013.
UCSB had its biggest victory of 2013 in Honolulu when they downed the No. 5 Rainbow Wahine in five sets, ending Hawai'i's 41 conference match win streak that dated back to 1994.
In their season series against CSUN, the Gauchos took both matches with scores of 3-0 and 3-2.
All Gaucho volleyball home matches are played at the Thunderdome on the UC Santa Barbara campus. For a complete look at the Gauchos' 2014 schedule, click here.
Check back here at UCSBgauchos.com for ticketing information on the 2014 season.