Gauchos Open Season at BYU Tournament

• The Schedule
Friday, November 26, 2010 at 5:30 p.m.
BYU Nike Invitational
UC Santa Barbara vs. St. Mary's (0-0)
at BYU's Smith Fieldhouse (5,000)
Series record vs. the Gaels – 1-2
Streak – Lost 1
Last time out vs. the Gaels – L, 3-2 (12/4/09)
Live stats


Saturday, November 27, 2010 at 9:00 a.m.
BYU Nike Invitational
UC Santa Barbara at BYU (0-0)
at BYU's Smith Fieldhouse (5,000)
Series record vs. the Cougars – 4-7
Streak – Lost 4
Last time out vs. the Cougars – L, 3-2 (11/30/06)
Match broadcast live on BYU TV

Saturday, November 27, 2010 at 4:00 p.m.
BYU Nike Invitational
UC Santa Barbara vs. #8 Illinois (0-0)
at BYU's Smith Fieldhouse (5,000)
Series record vs. the Illini – 2-0
Streak – Won 2
Last time out vs. the Illini – W, 3-0 (9/3/99)
Live stats

• Gauchos Tabbed Third in Preseason Poll
In the annual Big West coaches preseason poll, UC Santa Barbara was picked to finish third in the conference. Chosen ahead of the Gauchos were Long Beach State and Cal Poly.

Stacey Schmidt Honored
Senior middle blocker Stacey Schmidt was named one of 30 nominees for the Lowe's Senior CLASS award. To see the full release, please click here. 

• Rank and File
Starting with its opening match – and two of its three during the season-opening tournament in Utah – UCSB will face eight different teams that are either ranked or receiving votes in the preseason AVCA poll. Last season the Gauchos were 1-3 against ranked teams.

• Closing In
UCSB's legendary coach, Kathy Gregory, is just three wins away from her 850th career victory. "The Queen" has amassed the sixth-most victories of any Division I coach of all-time and when she captures her 850th, she will be one of just six coaches to achieve the feat. In fact, she is chasing former BYU coach Elaine Michaelis (1969-2001) for the fifth spot all-time in career wins. Gregory ranks 10th in all-time victories across all divisions, according to the NCAA.

• Welcome Back, Leah
Outside hitter Leah Sully returns to the Gauchos after missing all of 2010 due to a knee injury. Sully, who played in every set of her freshman season, tore her anterior cruciate ligament in the season-opener at Cal last August and was out for the rest of the season. Sully is the second current Gaucho to miss a full year due to a knee injury as Stacey Schmidt also missed all of 2008 with a knee injury.

• About Schmidt
Speaking of Schmidt, the middle blocker returns for her senior season after she captured All-American Honorable Mention honors from the AVCA last season. The Huntington Beach, Calif. native was also an All-West Region First Team pick and is a two-time All-Big West First Team selection.

• Young Guns
UCSB's roster is made up of just three seniors, two juniors and seven freshmen. Setter Hanna Nielson is poised to take over as the Gauchos' quarterback having to fill the large shoes of two-time All-American Dana Vargas, who graduated after a stellar four-year career.

• So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Goodbye
The Gauchos bid farewell to four key contributors from their 2010 squad as Vargas, the team's four-year starting setter, Charlene DeHoog, who led the Gauchos in kills last year and Kasey Kipp, who finished her career ranked fourth in school history in block assists, all graduated. Kelly Heenan, who led the team in digs last year, left the program.

• Four Score
While UCSB did lose some of its firepower from last year, the team does return four players who saw action in at least 85 sets (out of a possible 111) – Schmidt, Kara Sherrard, Chelsey Lowe and Lily Lopez.

 

The Gaucho Fund, launched as part of the Dare to Be Great strategic plan, is UCSB Athletics' annual giving program to provide vital funding support for scholarships, academic success and leadership development for Gaucho student-athletes. The Gaucho Fund is the anchor to the Dare to Be Great campaign.