Seven Mountain Pacific Sports Federation men’s volleyball teams will travel to Santa Barbara this weekend to compete in the eight-team 40th annual UCSB/Elephant Bar Collegiate Invitational, hosted by UCSB tonight and on Saturday.

The Gauchos, seeded fifth, will open play tonight against the #4 seed Northridge at 7 in Rob Gym.

Northridge opened its season with a three-game sweep over Quincy Wednesday night.

Three additional matches will be played in the Events Center, all commencing at 7 tonight. The #1 seed Long Beach State team plays #8 seed Stanford, #2 seed Irvine plays #7 seed USC and #3 seed UCLA plays #6 seed Pacific.

Play will resume Saturday morning at 10 with a championship and consolation bracket. The championship match will begin at 7 p.m., following a 5 p.m. runner-up match. Both contests will take place in the Events Center.

“All the teams in the MPSF, spare maybe two or three, are going to be awesome,” senior middle blocker Justin Adams said.

Last weekend, UCLA won three of five matches to finish third at the Huskies Invitational, hosted by the University of Saskatchewan.

Irvine defeated Cal Baptist 3-2 in their season opener, coming off of the best season in school history.

Stanford opened its season with a three-game sweep over Santa Cruz on Tuesday. Long Beach State began its 2004 campaign with a 3-0 victory over La Verne on Tuesday night.

USC and Pacific have yet to start play in 2004.

Reigning 2003 MPSF Champion Brigham Young University along with Pepperdine, Hawaii and San Diego are also MPSF teams, but will not be competing in the tournament.

After defeating Quincy Tuesday night, UCSB is now 1-0 overall, and hasn’t started official MPSF play.

“I’m glad we had a match Tuesday,” Head Coach Ken Preston said. “It was a good warm-up and it should prepare us well for league.”

With one win already under their belts, the Gauchos are prepared for the high caliber of play expected this weekend.

“I expect good things to come this weekend,” Adams said.