Gauchos Ranked Among Top in Nation in Preseason Poll

Aug. 17, 2010

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - UC Santa Barbara's women's volleyball team was among the top in the nation in a preseason poll released in the AVCA Coaches Poll released on Tuesday.

The Gauchos, coming off a 22-8 season and a second-place finish in the Big West last year along with a berth in their 27th NCAA Tournament, were one of 25 schools receiving votes. The preseason poll has UCSB ranked No. 33 overall with 51 points.

Long Beach State, picked by the Big West coaches to win the conference, finished 26th while UC Irvine, picked second by conference coaches, received 24 votes for 36th place. UCSB was chosen third in last week's Big West preseason poll.

Two teams that the Gauchos face are ranked in the AVCA's preseason Top 25, while another five were receiving votes. UCSB opens the season against No. 11 Cal on Friday August 27.

UCSB returns All-American Dana Vargas and First Team All-Big West player Stacey Schmidt along with three other starters. Reigning Big West Co-Coach of the Year Kathy Gregory returns for her 35th season on the sideline.

The Gauchos host Cincinnati, receiving two more votes than UCSB, on Monday August 30 in a 7 p.m. match at the Thunderdome.

UCSB will play No. 6 Minnesota on Sept. 27 and No. 22 San Diego on Sept. 18. Among teams receiving votes, the Gauchos face New Mexico on Sept. 11 San Diego State on Sept. 18, UC Irvine (Sept. 25 and Oct. 22), Long Beach State (Oct. 1 and Oct. 30) and Pepperdine on Oct. 6.

The next poll will come out on Monday, August 30.

To purchase tickets to the match vs. Cincinnati or any home UCSB event, please call (805) 893-UCSB, visit the Ticket Office located inside the Intercollegiate Athletics building on campus or buy online and print at home by clicking here.

The Intercollegiate Athletics Ticket Office has two parking spaces adjacent to the building and is now open on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., making it easier than ever for fans to purchase tickets. The two parking spots, designated specifically for the Ticket Office, are also available during weekday hours, which are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.