SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – UCSB student-athletes and coaches packed IV Theater last week for the Eighth Annual SB Awards, the year-end awards ceremony that celebrates the past year for UCSB Athletics by highlighting the best performances by Gaucho athletes, coaches, and teams.
Inspired by games played on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, some Gauchos went head-to-head in games on stage that ranged from Pictionary to a memorable Lip Sync Battle between Wade Allen (men’s swimming) and Alden Gellar (men’s water polo).
Taja Davis (’15), a frequent contributor to Gaucho Sports Prime Time, served as the show’s host for the first time.
The night’s big winner was the Baseball team, which won Male Sports Team of the Year, Male Sport Coach of the Year (Andrew Checketts), and Male Athlete of the Year (Dillon Tate). The team was not there to accept the awards though, as they were in Lake Elsinore preparing to host an NCAA Regional for the first time in program history.
On the women’s side, Katie Records was named the Female Athlete of the Year after earning three titles at the MPSF Championships. In winning the 200 IM, 100 breaststroke, and 200 breaststroke events, her 60 points in the meet’s individual events were tied for the most by a single swimmer. Her coach, Gregg Wilson, was also honored that night in being named the Female Sports Coach of the Year.
After capturing its highest national ranking in years, women’s tennis won the Female Sports Team of the Year. The Gauchos reached as high as the 46th spot in the NCAA rankings, while they also advanced to the Big West Championship match for the first time in several years.
The men’s tennis team was also recognized during the ceremony as it took home the Team Performance of the Year for their Big West Championship run. The team entered the tournament as the No. 3 seeded team but stormed to three consecutive wins over three days to win the league crown. The Gauchos beat Hawaii (4-0) in the first round and then topped No. 2 seeded UC Davis (4-1) and No. 1 seeded UC Irvine (4-3) in the semifinals and finals to earn a bid into the NCAA Tournament.
The soccer teams took both the male and female categories for individual performance of the year, as Nick DePuy and Madison Beckley gave their teams memorable game-winners in the fall. DePuy handed UC Irvine its first loss of the season with a last minute, left-footed blast from 35 yards out in front of 4,000-plus fans at Harder Stadium. Not to be outdone, Beckley delivered her game-winner with nine seconds left to clinch the Gaucos’ 2-1 upset win over Hawaii.
This year’s Breakout Athlete was men’s basketball’s John Green who was named Honorable Mention All-Big West after overcoming numerous injuries that sidelined him in previous seasons.
Rounding out the awards were the newcomers of the year: Laura Vosseler (women’s swimming) and Gabe Vincent (men’s basketball).
Vosseler finished her first season as a Gaucho with the second-fastest 100 freestyle and fourth-fastest 50 freestyle times in program history. Her times in the 200 freestyle, 200 medley, 400 medley, 200 free relay, and 400 free relay. At the MPSF Championships, Vosseler was UCSB’s points leader, as she earned 20 percent of the team’s points including her relay performances.
Vincent was named Big West Conference Freshman of the Year, becoming the first Gaucho player to earn the honor since 1993. He averaged 10.1 points per game and his 57 three-point baskets were second on the team and second most ever by a UCSB freshman.
While the student-athletes headlined the show, Brian and Jan Escalera received the Donor Award for their long time support and love for UCSB Athletics. In addition to offering mentorship and guidance to many Gauchos through the years, the Escaleras have recently made a pledge to help renovate the Thunderdome floor, which will not only help the basketball and volleyball programs but also the thousands of students who use the Events Center for various activities.
Male Sport Team of the Year
Men's Cross Country
Female Sport Team of the Year
Women’s Water Polo
Male Athlete of the Year
Nick DePuy – Men’s Soccer
Kevin Donohue – Men’s Volleyball
Thomas Gore-Schreck – Men’s Track & Field
Bryan Guijarro – Men’s Cross Country/Track & Field
Alan Williams – Men’s Basketball
Darion Williams – Men’s Track & Field
Female Athlete of the Year
Ali Barbeau – Women’s Volleyball
MeShalon Moore - Softball
Dani Moreno – Women’s Track & Field
Melissa Rake – Women’s Track & Field
Male Newcomer of the Year
Parker Curry – Men’s Track & Field
Shane Hauschild – Men’s Water Polo
Billy Mullis – Men’s Swimming
Zach Tombol – Men’s Track & Field
Female Newcomer of the Year
Chanel Hoffman – Women’s Volleyball
Kayla O’Brine – Women’s Track & Field
Camila Schafer – Women’s Water Polo
Chace Shornstein – Women’s Soccer
Male Performance of the Year
Wade Allen (Men’s Swimming) – Earned three of UCSB’s six MPSF titles at the conference championships with his MPSF record-setting 50 freestyle and UCSB record-setting 100 freestyle.
Thomas Gore-Schreck (Men’s Track & Field) - Set a UCSB record with a javelin throw of 234’3.0” at the Big West Challenge Cup, winning the event by more than 33-feet.
Bryan Guijarro (Men’s Cross Country) - Named Big West Conference Athlete of the Year after leading UCSB to the Big West Cross Country championship.
Albert Hughes (Men’s Track & Field) - Ranked third all-time at UCSB with a hammer throw of 209’3”, the top throw in the Big West Conference this season.
Alan Williams (Men’s Basketball) - Named MVP of the prestigious Great Alaska Shootout after averaging 18.7 points, 14.7 rebounds and 3.3 blocked shots per game.
Darion Williams (Men’s Track & Field) - Won the Big West Conference decathlon championship with a score of 6,844.
Female Performance of the Year
Kristen Berlo (Women’s Volleyball) - Named the Big West Freshman and Defensive Player of the Week after leading the Gauchos to a 3-1 victory at Cal Poly with 11 kills (.476) and eight block assists.
Jessica Emde (Women’s Track & Field) - Was the top collegiate finisher at the Stanford Invitational with a mark of 5’9.75”.
Melissa Rake (Women’s Track & Field) - Set a new UCSB record in the javelin at the Stanford Invitational with a throw of 154’1”, the top mark in the Big West Conference in 2015.
Katie Records (Women’s Swimming) - Earned three titles at the MPSF Championship meeting in winning the 200 IM, 100 breaststroke, and 200 breaststroke events.
Camila Schafer (Women’s Water Polo) - Scored five goals in leading UCSB to a 7-5 road upset win over No. 10 UC Davis.
Team Performance of the Year
Baseball – Completed the regular season sweep of No. 8 USC with a 2-1 road win at Dedeaux Field.
Men’s Cross Country – Won Big West Championship in scoring 21 points, the fewest in school history and the fifth fewest ever scored by a Big West winner.
Men’s Soccer – In beating No. 3 UC Irvine, UCSB beat its highest-ranked regular season opponent in program history.
Women’s Volleyball – Opened Big West play with a win over rival Cal Poly after battling back from two sets down.
Women’s Water Polo – Upset No. 10 UC Davis with a 7-5 road win behind Camila Schafer’s five goals.
Breakout Athlete of the Year
Thomas Gore-Schreck – Men’s Track & Field
Jacqueline Hinojosa - Softball
Male Sport Coach of the Year
Marty Davis – Men’s Tennis
Pete Dolan – Men’s Cross Country/Track & Field
Female Sport Coach of the Year
Serela Kay – Women’s Water Polo
Simon Thibodeau – Women’s Tennis