Hello fellow Gauchos,
I want to welcome everyone to another year at UCSB and what promises to be yet another great year of collegiate athletics here on campus.
Let me say a few things about myself first: I bleed Dodger blue and I’m not ashamed to wear purple and gold (can you tell I’m from Los Angeles?). I have been a staff writer for my first three years and have covered many teams in that span. Now, in my senior year, I have the privilege of being sports editor and delivering you all the information you need to know.
As sports editor, my responsibility is to deliver you the best, most comprehensive coverage of UCSB athletics. That includes previews and recaps of every game, coverage of special sporting events and being your inside source to coaches and student athletes.
We also have a talented staff of writers ready to give you game analysis and breakdown the biggest matches played over the week.
From the big lights of Harder Stadium to the hardwood of the Thunderdome, UCSB has some of the most entertaining teams in the country with a rabid fan base to go along with it.
These are the same fans that packed Harder Stadium in record numbers just four years ago when 15,896 saw the men’s soccer team take down UCLA, the highest-attended college soccer game in the last 30 years. But trust me, we wouldn’t be as excited for our teams, who compete at the NCAA Division I and club levels, if we didn’t see them winning.
So what can you expect from UCSB sports this year? Let me give you a rundown of some of the teams that make up Gaucho athletics. You may have already seen firsthand what we’re talking about when we say Harder Stadium is soccer heaven. The men’s soccer team boasts a national championship and the program’s 11 postseason appearances in the past 12 seasons say it all.
The men’s basketball team is primed for a run to the Big Dance this season as last year’s conference player of the year, Alan “Big Al” Williams, returns for his senior season to lead an experienced and athletic squad to their first conference title since 2011.
During fall, you can also see the defending Big West champions in action when you go to a women’s volleyball game at the Thunderdome. As the year progresses, you will not want to miss women’s basketball, baseball and men’s volleyball.
So soccer may not be your sport and perhaps neither is basketball, and maybe you just don’t give a damn about sports. But I strongly encourage you to make it out to the games. When I first began covering teams for this newspaper the first beat I wrote on was the swim and dive team. I didn’t know anything about swimming or diving and quite frankly, didn’t care much for it. However, I now follow the team religiously and couldn’t imagine UCSB without swim and dive.
My point is this: you will be exposed to a lot of different things in college. Let sports be one of them. Whether it’s watching a softball game at Campus Diamond or seeing the women’s water polo team battle it out in the pool, you can’t go wrong spending a beautiful sunny day watching high caliber student athletes compete at the highest level.
So be proud of the teams representing you and I’ll see you all walking the streets of Del Playa somewhere this year.
A version of this article appeared on page 7 of October 2, 2014’s print edition of the Daily Nexus.
Art by Emily Zhang of the Daily Nexus.