August 26, 2009

Patak Helps Team USA Qualify for 2010 World Championships

Aug. 26, 2009

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SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Former Gaucho Evan Patak notched 10 kills and a match-high five aces in the championship match of last week's FIVB World Championship Qualifying tournament, as the United States defeated the Dominican Republic in straight sets (25-16, 25-19, 25-15) at the Bren Center on the campus of UC Irvine.

Patak earned both the Most Valuable Player and Best Server awards at the tournament, helping Team USA clinch an automatic berth for the 2010 World Championships in Italy with a 3-0 record. At 2-1, the Dominican Republic will be forced to play another qualifying tournament later this month in Guadalajara, Mexico.

An alternate to Team USA during their gold-medal winning performance in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the Pleasanton-native served as the centerpiece of this year's squad, evidenced by his team-high 16 points in the match versus the Dominican Republic.

Current UCSB head coach Rick McLaughlin, who served as an assistant for Team USA throughout qualifications, said, "Evan has been given a golden opportunity and he had made the most of it. The way he is hitting the ball right now, he will be a force for this country when it comes time for the next Olympics."

Patak graduated from UCSB in 2007 with a degree in Sociology and a minor in Sports Management. During his senior season, the three-time All American would lead the nation in kills (5.78/game), service aces (.948/game), and points (7.40/game) before taking his game overseas to Aon hotVolleys of Vienna in Fall 2008. In January, he signed with PAOK, a club based in Thessaloniki, Greece.

McLaughlin added another tournament championship to an already impressive coaching resume; earlier this summer, he guided the U.S. Team to a perfect record of 4-0 at the NORCECA Pan American Cup in Chiapas, Mexico.

"Whenever you are able to learn from the best coaches and teach the best players in the world, you gain a wealth of experience," Coach McLaughlin said, "[Head] Coach Knipe gave me the opportunity to stay involved and help out any way I can, but my number one goal remains to win a championship here at UC Santa Barbara."

The UCSB volleyball team opens the 2010 season by hosting the UCSB Elephant Bar Invitational, January 8th and 9th at Robertson Gymnasium.

Men's volleyball fans, new this year, donations to The Gaucho Fund - regardless of the sport it supports - will be part of the "One Donation is Gold" system. This allows donors to purchase priority/premium seating and parking at UCSB games across several sports in addition to other benefits.

If you donate to men's volleyball, you will have the opportunity to purchase tickets in the Gold Zone (priority/premium seats) at Harder Stadium for men's soccer, which includes priority parking and cushioned chair-backed seating. No longer will separate donations need to be made to secure priority seating to different UCSB sports. One donation, one fund: The Gaucho Fund.

Season tickets for the 2009 men's soccer season are on sale for only five bucks a game. Fans who purchase 2009 season tickets will be guaranteed the opportunity to buy tickets for the 2010 Men's NCAA College Cup hosted by UCSB at Meredith Field at Harder Stadium Dec. 10-12, 2010. To accompany the successful "Soccer Town, USA" slogan as part of the College Cup bid, a discounted family valued offer is also available where a family of five can catch games for only $2.50 per game! Family Plan package also includes three free youth t-shirts and memberships to the new UCSB kids club: GKids. Fans can easily buy tickets online or by calling 805-893-UCSB. To purchase your tickets click here.

- UCSBgauchos.com -

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