Gauchos Land Six on GCC All-Conference Teams

(Photo by Jeff Liang)
(Photo by Jeff Liang)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Following a highly successful and memorable regular season, the UC Santa Barbara men's water polo team saw six players named across the Golden Coast Conference's four all-conference teams, the league office announced on Wednesday morning.

All-GCC First Team

Senior utility Ivan Gvozdanovic

As one of the Gauchos' most important pieces contributing in all facets of the game, Gvozdanovic caps off his stellar career with his second All-GCC First Team honor. His 33 goals and 35 assists combine for a team-leading 68 points. He also leads the Gauchos with 32 steals heading into this weekend's Golden Coast Conference Championships at Pepperdine. His best offensive output came against Pepperdine on Sept. 28 in UCSB's 14-10 win at the MPSF SoCal Invitational, when he secured eight points with three goals and five assists.

Sophomore goalkeeper Danny Roland

The UCLA transfer was one of the biggest reasons for the Gauchos' record-setting start to the season. He was in net for the Gauchos throughout the team's first-ever Triton Invitational first-place finish, including an 18-save performance against then-No. 5 Long Beach State in the final, the Gauchos' first defeat of then-No. 1 USC for the first time since 1990, and Santa Barbara's win at then-No. 1 Stanford that helped the Gauchos secure their first-ever CWPA No. 1 ranking.

All-GCC Second Team

Senior attacker Jacob Halle

Halle follows up his selection to last season's All-GCC Academic Team with a second team nod this season. Halle has 30 points this season, split between 21 goals and nine assists. He reached his season-high in points against Pacific on Oct. 20, putting away two goals and feeding his teammates with two assists.

Sophomore driver Nathan Puentes

Puentes has enjoyed a breakout season in 2019, scoring 44 goals and assisting on 13 others to total 57 points. His goal tally is second on the team, while his points rank third. The Los Altos, Calif.-native has regularly come up big for the Gauchos down the stretch, with his nine goals in the Gauchos' two wins over Long Beach State and Cal on Oct. 26 and 27, respectively, enough to earn him GCC Player of the Week honors on Oct. 31. His success this season earned him a spot as an alternate for the upcoming FINA World Junior Championships in December.

Honorable Mention

Sophomore attacker Sam Nangle

The Australian followed up junior attacker Cole Brosnan and Puentes for third-most goals scored on the team with 36. The sophomore is also third on the team with a .554 shooting percentage, the highest percentage of a player with 50+ shots. Nangle scored three hat tricks in the regular season, twice putting four goals on the board. He was four-of-four against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps on Sept. 15, and his other four-goal performance came against Pacific in UCSB's GCC opener on Oct. 20.

GCC All-Freshman Team

Freshman attacker Mason Chambliss

Chambliss certainly made himself one to watch in the 2019 season, as the USA Youth National Team attacker scored six goals and put up seven assists for 13 points. His highest output came at then-No. 2 UCLA on Oct. 11, in which he had a goal and two assists.

The Gauchos are the third seed in this week's Golden Coast Conference Championships, which will take place at Pepperdine, and will face sixth-seeded UC Irvine on Friday, Nov. 22 at 11:00 a.m.

The winner of the UCSB-UC Irvine game will advance to a matchup with second-seeded Pepperdine in the semifinal round, scheduled to take place on Saturday.

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