Gauchos Jump to No. 9 Nationally After Taking Third at E-Bar Tourney

Jan. 12, 2009

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - After finishing third of eight teams at its own prestigious and talent-laden Elephant Bar Restaurant Collegiate Invitational this past week, the UC Santa Barbara men's volleyball team jumped five spots to No. 9 in Monday's Bison/AVCA Top-15 National Poll.

Santa Barbara, ranked 14th in the AVCA's preseason poll, is now 2-1 heading into Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) play this week.

The Gauchos and first-year head coach Rick McLaughlin won their opening match of the season, defeating Pacific 3-1 in the first round. Cal State Northridge, ranked fifth last week and second this week, defeated the Gauchos 3-1 en route to winning the E-Bar title. UCSB took third place by upsetting Long Beach State in three sets. The Beach was ranked fourth going into the tournament and dropped to seventh in today's poll.

Defending national champion Penn State held on to the top spot and all first-place votes, while CSUN, Pepperdine, Stanford, and UC Irvine rounded out the top-five.

UCSB will host UC Irvine this Wednesday, Jan. 14 at Robertson Gym to open MPSF play. First serve is slated for 7 p.m. Tickets are available by calling (805) 893-UCSB, visiting the Ticket Office in the Intercollegiate Athletics Building on campus, or online through TICKET RETURN.

Bison/AVCA Division I-II Coaches Top 15 Poll
January 12, 2009

1. Penn State
2. Cal State Northridge
3. Pepperdine
4. Stanford
5. UC Irvine
6. USC
7. Long Beach State
10. BYU
11. Hawai'i
11. Lewis
13. Ball State
14. Ohio State
15. George Mason
Others receiving votes: Loyola-Chicago, UC San Diego


**UCSB - a nationally recognized university in both academic and athletic excellence - is located on the central coast of California in a picturesque campus and community setting on the Pacific Ocean. Each year over 450 Division 1 Gaucho student-athletes compete for national championships, succeed in the classroom, and give back to the community.**

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