UCSB vs. Stanford rugby May 1, 2011

Paul Wellman

UCSB vs. Stanford rugby May 1, 2011

UCSB Going to Final Fours in Both Volleyball and Rugby


UCSB has the nation’s final four teams in two collegiate sports after a pair of improbable victories over the weekend. The Gaucho men’s volleyball team upset top-ranked USC, 3 games to 2, to win the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation championship Saturday night. UCSB will face the Trojans again in the NCAA semifinals on Thursday (May 5) at Penn State. The Gaucho men’s rugby club staged a thrilling comeback to beat Stanford, 33-17, on Sunday and will play in the USA Rugby Division 1 college championships in two weeks.

USC had not lost a home volleyball match all season and had swept UCSB two weeks ago. But the Gauchos, coming off upsets of second-ranked BYU and No. 3 Long Beach State, were brimming with confidence in the MPSF final. They came from behind twice to knock off the Trojans by scores of 20-25, 25-23, 21-25, 25-18 and 16-14. They will make their first appearance in the NCAA final four since 1988, when they lost a five-game final to USC. The semifinal match Thursday will take place at 4 p.m. (Pacific time) and will be televised on ESPN2. The Trojans (23-3) will undoubtedly be favored again over the Gauchos (17-14). In the other semi, host Penn State will face Ohio State.

Stanford had a 17-0 lead over UCSB almost 60 minutes into their 80-minute rugby match at Harder Stadium. But the Gauchos came alive with a series of dazzling runs and a surging forward line to score four tries in a seven-minute span. John Gallo, who scored the go-ahead try with 16 minutes remaining, made good on four of five conversion kicks. The victory was the ninth in a row for the unbeaten Gauchos. They will travel to Stanford for the national semifinals May 13 against Bowling Green. Harvard will meet Davenport University (Mich.) in the other semi

In other weekend news, SBCC received its assignments in the Southern California Community College baseball and softball playoffs. The Vaqueros are seeded No. 7 in the baseball regionals and will host No. 10 Riverside at 2 p.m. Friday at Pershing Park. The best-of-three series will resume at 11 a.m. Saturday, with another game to follow, if necessary.

The Vaquero softball team is seeded 10th and will travel to No. 7 Santa Ana College for a Saturday-Sunday series.

Monday, May 2

Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table press luncheon, Harry’s Plaza Café, 12 p.m.

High school baseball – Nordhoff at San Marcos, 3:30 p.m.

Tuesday, May 3

High school softball – Ventura at Santa Barbara, 3:30 p.m.; Buena at Dos Pueblos, 3:30 p.m.; Carpinteria at Bishop Diego, 3:30 p.m.

High school boys volleyball – Nordhoff at Bishop Diego, 6 p.m.

Wednesday, May 4

High school baseball – Santa Paula at Bishop Diego, 3:30 p.m.

High school softball – Carpinteria at San Marcos, 3:30 p.m.

Thursday, May 5

High school track & field – Tri-Valley League Finals at Carpinteria, 3 p.m.

High school baseball – Buena at Dos Pueblos, 3:15 p.m.

College men’s volleyball – NCAA semifinals at State College, Pa.: UCSB vs. USC, 4 p.m. (TVESPN2).

High school boys volleyball – San Marcos at Dos Pueblos, 6 p.m.

Friday, May 6

Special Olympics – Santa Barbara School Games (track & field), La Playa Stadium, 9 a.m.

College baseball – UCSB at Cal State Northridge, 3 p.m.; Southern California Regionals: Riverside at SBCC, 2 p.m.

High school track & field – Channel League Finals at Ventura, 3 p.m.

High school baseball – Ventura at Santa Barbara, 3:15 p.m.; Buena at Dos Pueblos, 3:15 p.m.; Oaks Christian at Carpinteria, 3:30 p.m.

High school boys volleyball – Mission Prep at Cate, 5 p.m.

Saturday, May 7

High school softball – Bishop Diego at San Marcos (2), 11 a.m.

College baseball – Southern California Regionals: Riverside at SBCC, 11 a.m. (Second game following, if necessary). UCSB at Cal State Northridge, 1 p.m.

College softball – Southern California Regionals: SBCC at Santa Ana, 2 p.m.

Basketball – Venice Beach Ninjas at Santa Barbara Breakers, SBCC Sports Pavilion, 4 p.m.

College men’s volleyball – NCAA championship at State College, Pa., 4 p.m. (TVESPN2).

Roller derby – Mission City Brawlin’ Betties vs. Prison City (Chino) Derby Dames, Earl Warren Showgrounds, 5 p.m.

Sunday, May 8

College baseball – UCSB at Cal State Northridge, 1 p.m.

College softball – Southern California Regionals: SBCC at Santa Ana, 12 p.m. (Second game following, if necessary).

Polo – Lisle Nixon Memorial at Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club, 1 p.m.

Monday, May 9

Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table press luncheon, Harry’s Plaza Café, 12 p.m.


Wednesday, May 4 – Nite Moves Summer Sunset Series (1k swim, 5k run), Leadbetter Beach, 6 p.m. Continues every Wednesday through August 31.

Saturday, May 7 – Wine Country Half Marathon, Sagunto Street, Santa Ynez, 7 a.m.

Saturday, May 14 – Lakes of Love 4-Mile Run/Walk for Cancer Research, Stow Grove Park, 9 a.m.

Friday, May 20 – Amgen Tour of California at Solvang: Women’s International Time Trial Challenge, 11:30 a.m. Amgen Tour Men’s Sixth Stage Time Trial, 12:30 p.m.


Monday, May 23 – 44th Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table Hall of Fame Banquet, Fess Parker’s Doubletree Resort, 6 p.m. Inductees: Jenny Santos Lafferty, Linnea Mendoza Meister, Omel Nieves, Scott Puailoa, Kyle Shotwell, Ken Preston, Bill Pintard and the South Coast Community Aquatics Association. Reservations:

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

Be succinct, constructive, and relevant to the story. Leaving a comment means you agree to our Discussion Guidelines. We like civilized discourse. We don't like spam, lying, profanity, harassment or personal attacks.

comments powered by Disqus
event calendar sponsored by:

Biggest Storm Since 1/9 Approaching Santa Barbara

The storm system brings increased threat of flash floods and debris flows.

Jack Johnson Tours Montecito Disaster Area Ahead of Benefit Concert

Jack and Kim Johnson met with Bucket Brigade leaders to see the destruction firsthand.

Iron Chef Caused State Street Pedestrian Death

Famous Chef Larry Forgione charged with misdemeanor for driving into Gilbert Ramirez on February 24.

Lavagnino’s Sudden Victory

5th District supervisor a shoo-in as filing window closes; Gregg Hart also unopposed for 2nd District.

One Half of Old Town Streets to Get Sidewalks

Walkways planned for one side of Goleta neighborhood streets; parking, lighting talks at community meeting March 22.