It would be safe to say that the 2015 season has been frustrating for the UCSB Gauchos. With an overall record of 1 in and 11 losses, the Gauchos have found themselves in uncharted territory for a program that reached the MCLA Semifinals last season. Despite the frustrations, the Gauchos still have the opportunity to reach the SLC Conference Playoffs. The final three games on the schedule are all conference games, and the Gauchos are hoping to achieve some late season success.
“One of our primary goals entering any season is to qualify for the SLC Playoffs,” says Head Coach Mike Allan. “ Despite anything that has happened up to this point, that goal is still out there, and we plan on achieving it.”
Throughout the season, the Gauchos have shown the ability to compete, but have struggled to earn victories. Close losses to 4th ranked Arizona State (9-7), and most recently to #14 Sonoma State (9-6) have been the story for a team that came out on the winning end of those close contests last season. “We feel that we’ve been in every game to a certain point,” Allan said. “We have a very young group that is learning the importance of every play and every decision. Although we haven’t seen the results we would like, the guys are focused on making the next right play and the next game. They’ve done a great job of staying positive.”
The Gauchos face conference foes Claremont, UNLV, and Chapman in the final three weeks of the season. With a current record of 1-2 in the division, the Gauchos will need wins to reach the SLC Tournament. The other teams in the SLC North division will face each other, as well over the next few weeks and the standings will take shape. UCSB will need a bit of help in order to qualify for the playoffs. “We’ve put ourselves in a tough spot because of our earlier results, but we’re excited for the end of the season,” Allan said. “We have some guys coming back from injuries, and we are hoping to play our best over the final stretch. That’s what we’re focused on.”
The Gauchos travel to Claremont this Saturday at 1pm. On Saturday, April 11th UCSB hosts UNLV at 1:30pm, and on Saturday, April 18th the Gauchos play their regular season finale at Chapman at 1pm.