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The UCSB men’s water polo team plans to maintain a consistent rhythm with incoming freshmen and returning players in the 2014 season.
“We have a couple local guys coming in,” Head Coach Wolf Wigo said. “Overall, [it’s] a well-balanced recruiting class, and we are still maybe going to get one more player.”
Last season, the Gauchos graduated three seniors: goalkeeper Jay Lovero, utility Bryce Miller and attacker Matt Gronow. Of the three, only Gronow was a starting player, and the others served in backup roles.
However, Gronow’s presence will be missed, considering he led the team in goals and assists, at 63 and 41 respectively.
“We should have about five or six really strong players coming in, so it should be good,” Wigo said.
UCSB kept it local, adding three new members to the team from the surrounding Santa Barbara area.
The spotlight is focused on Shane Hauschild, a 6’5” incoming freshman from San Marcos High School in Santa Barbara. Hauschild is known for his athletic achievements in both water polo and volleyball.
In an interview with the Santa Barbara Independent, Hauschild mentioned that he might attempt to play both water polo and volleyball for the Gauchos. With a scholarship under his belt, water polo is the main focus for now. Standing tall, Hauschild’s long reach and powerful shot will be a strong addition to UCSB’s offense.
Another local joining the team is Matt Jarvis from Ventura. Jarvis will play center for UCSB.
“He is a really strong and physical player as well,” Wigo said.
The last confirmed incoming freshman for the Gaucho squad is Josh Jordan from Sacramento. Jordan is the younger brother of junior utility Nick Jordan.
“He is a very versatile player, so he will help us a lot,” Wigo said.
UCSB also plans to welcome back senior utility Chase Racich, who played on the team his freshman year in 2011.
Other than losing assistant coach John Abdou to USA Water Polo, the Gauchos 2014 season is looking to be similar to the last. Finishing last season 17-11 overall, UCSB looks to make progress from last year’s growth and improve on its seventh-place finish in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Tournament.
“We really are going to be a deeper team,” Wigo said.
This article is an online exclusive and did not appear in the print edition of The Daily Nexus.
Photo by Eric Swenson of The Daily Nexus.