Head Coach: Bob Williams
Record: 19-14 Overall, 11-5 Conf, No. 2 Seed in Big West
Team Stats: 68.4 PPG (3rd in conf), 15.2 APG (1st)
Things are going to be very different for the Gauchos this time around, as the program’s all-time leader in rebounds and second all-time leading scorer Alan Williams has headed overseas to play professionally in China. A pair of guards in senior Michael Bryson and sophomore Gabe Vincent will now look to run the show and keep the Thunderdome rocking. Bryson was named First Team All-Big West last season while Vincent became the first Gaucho since 1993 to win Big West Freshman of the Year.
First Game: 11/8 vs. San Francisco St.
Head Coach: Marty Davis
Record: 15-10 Overall, 3-2 Conf
Key Stats: 9-0 home record in 2015, Big West Champions
MJ – Two Big West titles since 2013 makes this arguably the most successful team at UCSB over that stretch. You’ll want to see these guys play at home, where they went a perfect 9-0 last season, setting a program record. They’ll also be recharged with a recruiting class that was ranked No. 15 in the nation.
SW – The past few seasons have been an ascending slope for UCSB men’s tennis. Dominating the Big West Conference, the Gauchos have been crowned Big West champions in two of the last three years. The team’s progression is not coming to a halt any time soon. It ended this offseason with the No. 15 recruiting class in the nation as it welcomed four new recruits and concluded this past season with a No. 52 national ranking at a 15-10 overall record, 3-2 Big West co-record, and NCAA Tournament visit. Much credit must be given to long-time Head Coach Marty Davis who has helped guide UCSB’s tennis program to win a total of nine conference titles. The Gauchos are set to open the 2015 season with ITA Men’s All-American Championships in Tulsa, Oklahoma on October 3rd through the 4th, the team’s opponents are to be announced.
First Game: 10/3 ITA All-American
Head Coach: Simon Thibodeau
Record: 16-9 Overall, 6-2 Conf
Key Player: Natalie da Silveira
Key Stat: Big West Runner-Up
The men weren’t the only team to make noise at the Rec Cen courts last season, as the women got hot at the right time to make it all the way to the Big West Championship. Sophomore Natalie Da Silveira and junior Jaimee Gilbertson were both named All-Big West Second team and will look to lead the Gauchos once again.
First Game: 10/2 Berkeley Invite
Head Coach: Tim Vom Steeg
Record: 10-7-3 Overall, 6-2-2 Conf, No. 1 Seed in Big West
Key Player: Nick DePuy, 10 goals, 6 game-winners
Team Stats: 8-0-2 home conference record since ‘13
The Gauchos have been the best team in the Big West over the past two seasons, going 13-2-5 in conference play on their way to back-to-back No. 1 seeds in the Big West Tournament. However, going 0-3 in the postseason has left a bitter taste in their mouths. A trio of experienced juniors in forward Nick DePuy, midfielder Drew Murphy and left back Ismaila Jome, all of whom were named to the Preseason All-Conference Team, have UCSB as the favorite to win the Big West Title for the first time since 2010.
First Game: 8/28 vs. Stanford
Head Coach: Andrew Checketts
Record: 40-17-1 Overall, 16-8 Conf, No. 2 seed in Big West
Key Player: Shane Bieber, 2.24 ERA, 8 wins (1st in conf)
Ranking: Reached as high as No. 6 national ranking
UCSB shocked the country last year when its stacked pitching staff led the team to as high as a No. 6 national ranking in mid-May. The Gauchos went on to finish in second place in the conference, earning a spot as a Regional host in the NCAA Baseball Tournament for the first time in school history. However, last season’s success has provided next year’s Gauchos with a new set of challenges, as a program-record 10 players were selected in the MLB draft.
First Game: February 2016
Head Coach: Brie Galicinao
Record: 19-35 Overall, 6-15 Conf
It wasn’t a great campaign for the Gauchos in 2015, but they will be a team to watch next year with senior catcher MeShalon Moore leading a hungry veteran squad that retains three players who were selected All-Big West last season.
First Game: February 2016
Men’s Water Polo
Head Coach: Wolf Wigo
Record: 11-15 Overall, 0-8 Conf
Ranking: Peaked at No. 5
A great start to the season was followed up by a disappointing outing in MPSF play as UCSB went winless in the conference despite being ranked as high as No. 5 in the nation. Head Coach Wolf Wigo and the Gauchos will once again face a difficult challenge playing against many top-10 ranked teams, but with a handful of experienced seniors on the roster, they should have a much better time in 2015.
First Game: 9/5 vs. Air Force
Women’s Water Polo
Head Coach: Serela Kay
Record: 14-16 Overall, 3-4 Conf
Ranking: Peaked at No. 13
MJ – After a decent first year under first year Head Coach Serela Kay, UCSB will see how it fares against a handful of top-20 teams in the country come January. All-Big West honorees in sophomore Camila Schafer and seniors Samantha Murphy and Bryn Hudson will look to carry the load for the Gauchos, while impressive freshman Sarah Kreiser brings a solid pre-NCAA résumé to town.
SW – With the first season of Head Coach Serela Kay completed, UCSB’s women’s water polo team is determined to take over the Big West this season. In spite of a 14-16 overall record and 3-4 conference record, the No. 13 Gauchos managed to claim fifth-place in the Big West Tournament with its win against No. 15 Long Beach State. Finishing during late-game situations is the key improvement to look out for when watching this team this year as it has struggled in the past. Expect players such as Samantha Murphy, Bryn Hudson, Camila Schafer, who all received All-Big West honors, and Orange County’s Female Player of the Year freshman Sarah Kreiser to carry the load for UCSB.
First Game: 10/2 Triton Invitational
Men’s Volleyball (Rob Gym)
Head Coach: Rick McLaughlin
Record: 17-10 Overall, 13-9 Conf, No. 6 seed in MPSF
Key Player: Jonah Seif, 10.18 APG (4th in conf), 2.26 digs per set
Key Stat: Reached as high as No. 6 national ranking
MJ – UCSB was as dangerous a team as any in the MPSF last season as it took a No. 9 national ranking into the MPSF Tournament. A memorable 3-1 upset road win over a No. 3 Pepperdine side that had been undefeated at home was the highlight of the season for the Gauchos, but they failed to repeat their success by losing to Pepperdine 3-0 in the playoffs. Two-time All-American setter Jonah Seif will look to go out with a bang as he leads UCSB in his final year.
SW – Arguably one of the most slept-on sports programs at UCSB, men’s volleyball has quietly made a reputation for itself as a top team in the nation. Despite losing to No. 7 Pepperdine in the MPSF Tournament Quarterfinals, the Gauchos finished last season with a No. 13 national ranking along with a 17-10 overall record and 13-9 conference record. Led by Head Coach Rick McLaughlin, the Gauchos set Robertson Gym ablaze with its fiery offensive attack. In 14 of the team’s 27 games played, UCSB won in straight sets, sweeping its opponents each time. Although the Gauchos lost seniors Weston Nielson, Kevin Donohue and Jake Staahl, UCSB has enough talent in hopes of making it to a NCAA National Championship like it did in 2011.
First Game: January 2016
Head Coach: Nicole Lantagne Welch
Record: 13-14 Overall, 8-8 Conf
One season after finishing in first place in the Big West, a young Gaucho team found itself in the middle of the standings in 2014. Another year of experience should be huge for UCSB as it looks to challenge for the Big West Title once again.
First Game: 8/28 vs. Utah Valley St. – Pepperdine Asics Classic
Head Coach: Bonnie Henrickson
Record: 2-27 overall, 2-14 Conference
Head Coach: Bonnie Henrickson
Key Players/Stats: Onome Jemerigbe, 4 apg (6th in conf) and 41.1 FG% (second on team)
Team Stats: 7.1 steals (4th in conference)
Last season was rough for UCSB, but a brand new coaching staff led by Bonnie Henrickson is prime and ready to turn things around this season. Junior point guard Onome Jemerigbe will be the heart of the team as she looks to keep control of the offense, while fiery senior Jasmine Ware has a chance to be the team’s top offensive threat. Defense and rebounding will be the key for the Gauchos to make some noise in the Big West this time around.
First Game: 11/8 vs. Cal St. Dominguez Hills
Head Coach: Pete Dolan
Team Stats: Men’s- Big West cross country champions/ Women’s- 3rd place finish at Big West Championships
For nearly 30 years, Head Coach Pete Dolan has been building UCSB’s men’s and women’s cross country into one of the Big West’s most elite programs. His work has not gone unnoticed as he was rewarded with the Big West Men’s Cross Country Coach of the Year award this past season. While Dolan is the mastermind behind the Gauchos’ gameplan heading into races, having a stud athlete like senior Bryan Guijarro is very rewarding. He is the first Gaucho to win the Big West Men’s Cross Country Athlete of the Year since 2005, and is expected to have an outstanding season after helping lead UCSB to its school record low score of 21 in the conference championships. Representing UCSB’s women’s team is senior distance runner Victoria Tsolis. After earning a NCAA first round bid last season, her final year is another opportunity for her to continue to climb up the UCSB record books.
First Meet: 9/5 vs. Cal Poly
Track & Field
Head Coach: Pete Dolan
Team Stats: A total of three Gauchos participated in the NCAA Championships this past season
Along with cross country, UCSB’s men’s and women’s track and field teams made progressive strides during the 2014 season. While the talents of former Gauchos Jessica Johnson, Albert Hughes and Thomas Gore-Schreck will be missed, UCSB made sure it had a productive offseason with a total of 22 signees. After a second place finish by the men’s and a fourth place ranking by the women’s in the Big West Championships, UCSB is on the brink of having a breakout year.
First Meet: February 2016