UCSB has yet to start men’s volleyball practice, but the awards keep rolling in for the third-ranked Gauchos.
Off the Block selected three of their players — Casey McGarry, Randy DeWeese and Keenan Sanders — to its preseason All-America team.
“They’re anxious to get going,” coach Rick McLaughlin said. “They’re doing well and testing and quarantining — and they’re ready to go.”
The high count of COVID-19 cases in Santa Barbara County has delayed the start of UCSB’s workouts. McLaughlin is hoping to open practice within the next two weeks and open his season by early March.
The Gauchos were 14-2 and ranked third in the nation when the rest of last season was canceled by the coronavirus.
The three preseason All-Americans are among four starters — team captain Roy McFarland, an outside hitter, is the other — who are taking advantage of an NCAA waiver that allows players to repeat their senior seasons because of the pandemic.
“We should pick up right where we left off,” McLaughlin said. “Our leadership is what made us good last year. Getting those four senior starters back, it really helped in the fall — staying in the bubble, being disciplined.”
McGarry was selected to Off the Block’s All-America first team as a setter while DeWeese and Sanders were second-team picks.
Last year, McGarry ranked fourth in the NCAA in assists per set (10.59) and fifth in digs average (2.48), becoming the first player to ever lead the Big West Conference in both categories. Off the Block twice named him as its National Setter of the Week.
DeWeese averaged 3.7 kills per set from his opposite position and was a two-time winner of the Big West Conference Athlete of the Week Award. Sanders, a middle attacker, averaged 2.02 kills per set with the nation’s second-best hitting percentage of .521.
Westmont adjusts basketball schedules
The Westmont College women’s basketball game against Simpson College, rescheduled from Dec. 4 to Tuesday, has been canceled again because of scheduling complications. It still may be played in February, school officials announced.
The Warriors (1-1), ranked No. 2 in the NAIA, are not scheduled to play again until Feb. 2 when they tip off their Golden State Athletic Conference season with a 4:30 p.m. home game against Hope International.
Westmont men’s team had Wednesday’s game against Bethesda canceled because of that team’s concerns with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Warrior men, who are scheduled to play host to Saint Katherine on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m., will now also play the Firebirds at home on Wednesday at 4 p.m. That game was originally scheduled for Jan. 30 in San Marcos.