UC Santa Barbara to play pair of matches at BYU in 2020

Photo by Jonathan Bates

Jonathan Bates | Associate Editor

UC Santa Barbara will return a home-and-home series with BYU in 2020 by playing a pair of matches in Provo. The Gauchos swept both matches at home last year, where they outhit the Cougars, .318 to .221.

The Cougars return all of their starters from last year’s squad for the exception of libero Taylor Richards. Highlighting the returning starters are opposite Gabi Garcia Fernandez (All-American Second-Team), and outside attacker Davide Gardini (MPSF Freshman of the Year). Fernandez and Gardini were top-two on the team in terms of aces per game, attack percentage, and kills per game.

BYU finished 13-12 (6-6 MPSF) last year, and lost to eventual MPSF tournament champion, Pepperdine, in the semifinals.


BYU holds a 42-24 advantage in the all-time series with UC Santa Barbara, boasting a 25-9 record at Smith Fieldhouse.

As for UC Santa Barbara, they will have to fill the void of losing two All-American Second-Teamers in outside attacker Corey Chavers and libero Hayden Boehle. Chavers led the team in attack percentage, kills per game, and aces per game, while Boehle led the conference in digs per game.

Returning for Gauchos are a pair of All-Big West Freshmen in outside attacker Ryan Wilcox (Big West Freshman of the Year) and middle attacker Brandon Hicks.

The Gauchos will play 27 matches in 2020, with 17 of them being out of conference. UC Santa Barbara will play six of the seven MPSF teams (Grand Canyon), four MIVA teams, two NAIA teams, and one EIVA team.

UC Santa Barbara finished 18-10 (4-6 Big West) last year, losing in the Big West tournament semifinals to Long Beach State in four games. The Gauchos were a contender for the final NCAA tournament at-large bid last season, but did not earn it due in part to losing seven of their final ten matches. The Gauchos lost that bid to USC, but will have a chance for revenge on February 29 as the two will play a match at Galen Center.

UC Santa Barbara opens up their 2020 campaign hosting the ASICS Invitational on the second weekend of January.

2020 UC Santa Barbara Schedule

Thursday, Jan. 9 vs. Concordia-Irvine
Friday, Jan. 10 vs. Benedictine-Mesa
Saturday, Jan. 11 vs. McKendree
Friday, Jan. 17 vs. Purdue Fort Wayne
Saturday Jan. 18 vs. Ball State
Friday, Jan. 24 at Stanford
Saturday, Jan. 25 at Stanford
Friday, Jan. 31 at BYU
Saturday, Feb. 1 at BYU
Friday, Feb. 7 at Ohio State
Saturday, Feb. 8 vs. Penn State (Neutral Site)
Wednesday, Feb. 19 at UCLA
Friday, Feb. 21 vs. Pepperdine
Wednesday, Feb. 26 at Pepperdine
Saturday, Feb. 29 at USC
Tuesday, March 3 vs. UCLA
Friday, March 6 vs. UC San Diego
Thursday, March 12 at Long Beach State
Friday, March 12 vs. Long Beach State
Tuesday, March 24 vs. Vanguard
Friday, March 27 at CSUN
Saturday, March 28 vs. CSUN
Wednesday, April 1 at UC Irvine
Friday, April 3 vs. UC Irvine
Friday, April 10 vs. Hawai’i
Saturday, April 10 vs. Hawai’i
Friday, April 17 at UC San Diego
April 23-25 – Big West Tournament