The field for the UC Santa Barbara Invitational has been cut in half just days before the non-conference event.
UC Santa Barbara announced via social media Thursday that No. 2 UCLA, Concordia-Irvine and CSUN have all opted out of the three-day tournament that was scheduled to start on Jan. 6.
UCLA posted from the team’s Twitter account earlier on Thursday evening that it opted out of the tournament because of coronavirus protocols within its program.
The amount of daily new positive coronavirus cases has steadily increased in December throughout the United States, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The nation’s seven-day average for daily new positive cases as of Wednesday has climbed to record high 316,277.
No. 11 UC Santa Barbara is still slated to play host to its annual event with a reduced field. Along with UC Santa Barbara, No. 10 UC San Diego and USC are still slated to participate as of now.
The Gauchos also announced Thursday that they are working on revising the tournament schedule due schools opting out.
This is the second major event during the opening week of the college men’s volleyball season that has been canceled because of the coronavirus. No. 7 Loyola and No. 12 UC Irvine earlier this week canceled its New Year’s Day match in Chicago that would have been the nation’s first match of the 2022 season.