Gauchos Tabbed Third in Big West Preseason Poll

Aug. 9, 2010

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - With five returning starters - including a pair of All-Big West Conference First Team picks - coming back for the 2010 season, the UC Santa Barbara women's volleyball team was tabbed to finish in third place in the Big West in a preseason poll the conference released on Monday.

The Gauchos, who went 22-8 overall and finished in second place with an 11-5 conference mark last season, received one first place vote and 65 points overall based on the conference coaches vote. UCSB was one of just two Big West Conference teams to make the NCAA Tournament last season, its 27th time playing in the postseason.

Santa Barbara returns All-American and First Team All-Big West setter Dana Vargas as well as First Team All-Big West middle blocker Stacey Schmidt. The Gauchos also return middle blockers Lily Lopez - an All-Big West Freshman Team pick in 2008 - and Kasey Kipp, libero Chelsey Lowe and outside hitter Leah Sully to the starting lineup.

Long Beach State, the defending champions, were chosen to finish first with seven first-place votes and 79 total votes while UC Irvine was picked to finish second with one first place vote and 68 points total. UCSB went 3-1 against the 49ers and Anteaters last season.

Cal State Fullerton was fourth in the preseason poll with 47 points while Cal Poly and UC Davis tied for fifth. Pacific, Cal State Northridge and UC Riverside round out the voting.

UCSB opens its season at the Cal Molten Classic on Friday, August 27 against Cal. The Gauchos' first home match is Monday, August 30 at 7 p.m. against Cincinnati University.

To purchase tickets, please call (805) 893-UCSB, visit the Ticket Office located inside the Intercollegiate Athletics building on campus or buy online and print at home by clicking here.

The Intercollegiate Athletics Ticket Office has two parking spaces adjacent to the building and is now open on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., making it easier than ever for fans to purchase tickets. The two parking spots, designated specifically for the Ticket Office, are also available during weekday hours, which are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

1.	Long Beach State (7)	79
2.	UC Irvine (1)		68
3.	UC Santa Barbara (1)	65
4.	Cal State Fullerton	47
T5.	Cal Poly		45
T5.	UC Davis		45
7.	Pacific			28
T8.	Cal State Northridge	14
T8.	UC Riverside		14