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Sports Highlights: March 11-16

Gaucho Baseball, Volleyball Teams Rise in Rankings


UCSB is a distant long shot in the Big West Women’s Basketball Tournament, and Santa Barbara High is a big shot in the CIF State Girls Division 3 Basketball Championships.

Despite losing their last four games, the Gaucho women (3-10 Big West, 8-21 overall) slipped into the conference tournament as the eighth and last seed. They will face fifth-seeded UC Davis (9-7, 14-15) in the first round Tuesday (March 11) at Long Beach State’s Walter Pyramid.

Santa Barbara is seeded No. 1 in the Southern California bracket of the state girls tournament. The Dons (26-5), who captured the Southern Section Division 3AA title with a resounding 67-43 victory over Lakeside, will host Shafter (23-8) of the Central Section on Wednesday night. As the top seed, the Dons would be a home team for the next two rounds (Saturday and Tuesday, March 18) if they continue to advance.

Santa Barbara also earned a berth in the state boys tournament. The Dons (25-3) were knocked off in the sectional semifinals by Oak Park – which went on to win the 3A title – and they are seeded ninth in Southern California. They will visit No. 8 Eagle Rock (22-12) on Wednesday. The winner of that game would likely play at top-seeded Chaminade on Saturday night.

The Big West Men’s Basketball Championships commence at Anaheim’s Honda Center on Thursday. Second-seeded UCSB (12-4, 21-8) will start things off against Cal Poly (6-10, 10-19) at high noon. The Gauchos will be on their guard against an upset. They concluded the regular season with a 71-55 victory at Cal Poly last Saturday. UCSB junior Alan Williams had 23 points and 10 rebounds, and on Monday he received the Big West Player of the Week award for the sixth time this season, a new record.

UCSB fans will be able to see two nationally recognized Gaucho men’s teams in action this week. The baseball team, ranked in the top 25 on two polls after a 10-2 start, will host Pepperdine on Tuesday and play a three-game weekend series against Wichita State. The volleyball team (12-5) has soared to No. 4 in NCAA Division 1 and has home matches against USC on Wednesday and Pepperdine on Friday. The Gauchos are 9-1 at Robertson Gym.

COLLEGE HIGHLIGHTS

Tuesday, 3/11: Baseball – Pepperdine at UCSB, 3 pm. Women’s basketball – Big West Tournament, first round: UCSB vs. UC Davis at Long Beach State, 6 pm.

Wednesday, 3/12: Baseball –Arizona Christian at Westmont, 3 pm. Men’s volleyball – USC at UCSB, Rob Gym, 7 pm; El Camino at SBCC, 7 pm.

Thursday, 3/13: Baseball – Cuesta at SBCC, 2:30 pm. Softball – Utah State at UCSB, 3 pm. Men’s basketball – Big West Tournament quarterfinals at Anaheim Honda Center: UCSB vs. Cal Poly, 12 pm (TV: Prime Ticket).

Friday, 3/14: Softball – Monmouth at UCSB, 9 am. Baseball – Wichita State at UCSB, 3 pm. Men’s volleyball – Moorpark at SBCC, 6 pm; Pepperdine at UCSB, Rob Gym, 7 pm.

Saturday, 3/15: Softball – Long Beach at SBCC, 12 pm; Portland State at UCSB, 3:30 pm. Baseball – Wichita State at UCSB, 2 pm.

Sunday, 3/16: Baseball – Wichita State at UCSB, 1 pm. Softball – Dartmouth at UCSB, 1 pm.

HIGH SCHOOL HIGHLIGHTS

Tuesday, 3/11: Boys tennis – Santa Barbara at Dos Pueblos, 2:30 pm.

Wednesday, 3/12: Baseball – Dunn at Carpinteria, 3:30 pm. Softball – Santa Barbara at Carpinteria, 3:30 pm. Girls basketball – State Regionals: Shafter at Santa Barbara, 7 pm. Boys basketball – State Regionals: Santa Barbara at Eagle Rock, 7:30 pm.

Thursday, 3/13: Track and field – Santa Barbara at San Marcos, 3 pm. Baseball – San Luis Obispo at Santa Barbara, 3:30 pm. Boys volleyball – Santa Barbara at Dos Pueblos, 6:30 pm.

Friday, 3/14: Swimming and diving – Oaks Christian at Santa Barbara, 2 pm; Fountain Valley at Dos Pueblos, 2 pm. Softball – Carpinteria at San Marcos, 4 pm.

Saturday, 3/15: Boys volleyball – Dos Pueblos Invitational at UCSB, 8 am. Baseball – Pioneer Valley at Dos Pueblos (2), 9 am. St. Joseph at Santa Barbara, 11 am. Swimming – Santa Barbara and Fountain Valley at San Marcos, 10:30 am. Girls basketball – State Regional semifinals: La Canada at Santa Barbara, 6 pm. Boys basketball – State Regional semifinals: Santa Barbara at Chaminade, 7:30 pm.

FUND-RAISERS

Sunday, 3/16: Walking – Barbara Ireland Walk for Breast Cancer Research, Chase Palm Park. Information: 805-898-2116.

SPECIAL EVENTS

Sunday, 3/16: Special Olympics – 14th annual Santa Barbara Basketball Tournament, UCSB Thunderdome, 9 am. sosc.org.

Saturday, 3/29: Roller Derby – Mission City Brawlin’ Betties vs. Black List, Page Youth Center, 5 pm.

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