McLaughlin Signs Top Recruits for Class of 2011

Nov. 20, 2009

SANTA BARBARA-Calif. - Despite having not played a single match in their 2009-2010 season, the UCSB men's volleyball team is already looking forward to their future, having signed two top recruits to the class of 2011 during the early signing period.

The Gauchos will welcome 6-foot-6 outside hitter Weston Nielsen out of Corona Del Mar High School, a two-time gold medalist at the US Junior Olympic Championships in the under-16 and under-17 divisions with the Balboa Bay Volleyball Club. Nielsen will attempt to three-peat this summer with the 18's.

Nielsen also represented the United States on the USA National Team in the summer of 2009 and helped the team qualify for the Youth World Championships.

"I'm very excited that Wes will be joining us next year," head coach Rick McLaughlin, "Wes actually made a verbal commitment to us in October, so he knew he wanted to attend UCSB long ago. He was born to be a Gaucho."

Also coming to UCSB's campus will be Chris Hartig, a 6-foot-6 opposite hitter from Esperanza High School in Anaheim. Hartig and Nielsen are actually teammates for the Balboa Bay Volleyball Club. Hartig earned a gold medal in 2008 at the US Junior Olympic Championships.

"Chris will be a very welcomed addition to our squad. He's got great size, a good left arm, and also excels in the classroom," said McLaughlin, "He's got great potential and we look forward to developing him into the player we think he can be."

This year's Gaucho squad opens their 2010 season on Thursday and Friday, January 7th and 8th with the Santa Barbara Invitational on campus. Matches will be played at the Thunderdome and Robertson Gymnasium on Thursday. On Friday, all matches will be played in Rob Gym.

UCSB Athletics has a new weekly radio show called Talk'n Gauchos which airs every Tuesday from 6-7 p.m. on AM 1490 KIST. The show is broadcast live from State & A Bar and Grill, located on the corner of State Street and Anapamu Street in Santa Barbara. Fans are encouraged to attend the show for free gear and ticket giveaways or to even e-mail a question in to one of the guests and have it read live over the air. The show also airs live online via audio streaming and fans can click here to check out the entire lineup of live audio streaming online.