SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – UC Santa Barbara women's volleyball head coach Nicole Lantagne Welch announced the Gauchos' 2018 schedule on Tuesday afternoon, featuring 28 matches around the country against challenging competition.
UCSB will host 11 matches and play in four tournaments, including the fifth straight year it will host the Thunderdome Classic, which will run from Sept. 7-8 featuring a field of Seton Hall, Sacred Heart and Texas Tech.
"We are looking forward to competing with our 2018 schedule," said Lantagne Welch. "We return almost everyone (11 players) and are adding 8 newcomers with Torre (Glasker) already here and our freshman coming this summer. We look forward to the experience, depth and competition we will have in our own gym that will help us to be successful on the court."
The Gauchos will kick-off the 2018 campaign with an exhibition against 2017 Sweet 16 team UCLA at Pauley Pavilion and open the regular season in Miami, Ohio against Cincinnati on Aug. 24.
UCSB figures to be competitive with two-time AVCA All-American Lindsey Ruddins returning for her junior season along with the bulk of the Gauchos' 2017 roster after graduating just two seniors. All-Big West honorees Emilia Petrachi (4.95 digs per set) and Nicole Omwanghe (1.60 kills and 0.93 blocks per set) will return for their senior and sophomore seasons, respectively, while standout Utah transfer Torre Glasker will make an immediate impact.
A decorated 2018 recruting class will also be in the fold, including Natalie Ballout (Hillsborough, Calif. / Burlingame HS), Zoe Fleck (Granada Hills, Calif. / Sierra Canyon HS), Tallulah Froley (Half Moon Bay, Calif. / San Francisco Waldorf School), Grace Kloss (Naperville, Ill. / Waubonsie Valley HS), Megan Lewis (San Francisco, Calif. / St. Ignatius College Prep), Olivia Lovenberg (San Diego, Calif. / Canyon Crest Academy) and Giselle Ruddins (Laguna Niguel, Calif. / Aliso Niguel HS).
To view the complete schedule, click here.
Highlights from the 2018 UCSB women's volleyball schedule are below:
- Season-opening exhibition at UCLA on Saturday, Aug. 18. Bruins advanced to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament in 2017.
- Regular season opener against Cincinnati on Friday, Aug. 24 at the Miami (Ohio) Tournament. UCSB will also play host Miami (Ohio) and Saint Louis on Saturday, Aug. 25.
- Aug. 31-Sept. 1: Denver Classic featuring host Denver, Sacramento State and McNeese St.
- Sept. 7-8: UCSB hosts the Thunderdome Classic featuring Sacred Heart, Seton Hall and Texas Tech
- Sept. 13-14: Cal State Bakersfield Tournament featuring host CSUB, Montana and South Dakota
- Sept. 18: Conference opener against UC Irvine at the Thunderdome at 7:00 p.m.
- Oct. 12 (A) and Nov. 3 (H): Blue-Green Rivalry matches against 2017 Big West Champion Cal Poly
- Oct. 5 (H) and Oct. 27 (A): Matchup against NCAA Tournament team Hawai'i
- Nov. 17: Regular season finale and senior night against UC Riverside at the Thunderdome at 7:00 p.m.