The UCSB men’s volleyball team defeated No. 1 USC last night in Los Angeles to capture the 2011 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Tournament Championship. The Gauchos receive an automatic bid to the Final Four of the NCAA tournament next week.

After upsetting No. 2 BYU, then No. 3 Long Beach State in the opening rounds of the conference tournament, the fifth ranked Gauchos took on the top ranked Trojans at USC’s Galen Center. Down 2-1 heading into the fourth set, UCSB rallied around senior leadership to force a final fifth set. After a series of trading points, the Gauchos came out victorious to capture the conference championship.

Winning the MPSF title, the Gauchos advance to the NCAA Final Four for the fifth time in school history. The NCAA Final Four will be held at Penn State next week.