The UCSB men’s volleyball team, facing a three-match showdown against No. 1 Hawaii this week, took a step into the national spotlight on Tuesday when Gaucho senior Randy DeWeese was named as the Sports Import/AVCA Division I-II Men’s Player of the Week.
UCSB (4-0) also moved up from No. 4 to No. 3 in the AVCA coaches’ poll after winning four non-conference matches last week — two over No. 13 UC San Diego and two against No. 11 UC Irvine.
The Gauchos will open Big West Conference play against the top-ranked Rainbow Warriors (4-0) with 4 p.m. matches on Thursday and Friday at Robertson Gym. The two teams will also play a non-league match on Saturday at 4 p.m.
DeWeese, a 6-foot-6 opposite hitter, is the 12th Gaucho ever to win the AVCA award and the first since Corey Chavers in 2019. He pounded 59 kills in the four matches at a team-best rate of 4.21 per set. He had a hitting percentage of .361 while also getting six aces, nine blocks and 26 digs.
He and teammate Keenan Sanders were also honored by the Big West. Sanders, a 6-6 middle, won the conference’s Defensive Player of the Week Award after registering 13 total blocks and hitting .644 with no errors in the four matches.
Rudinsky homers twice for Westmont
Thomas Rudkinsky hit a pair of two-run home runs, an RBI single and a sacrifice fly to drive in six runs for Westmont College in its 12-10 baseball victory over Azusa Pacific at Russ Carr Field.
Renn Duncan added a solo homer in the fifth, Simon Reid went 3-for-5, and Andrew Bayard drove in two runs with a double and a single for the Warriors (11-9).
UCSB splits softball doubleheader
Emily Schuttish continued to shine in the circle for the UCSB softball team, pitching the Gauchos to a 7-3 victory over Utah Valley in the first game of a doubleheader at Campus Diamond.
Schuttish (3-1), who has pitched all of the victories for the Gauchos (3-10) this season, allowed just four hits and two earned runs with no walks and five strikeouts.
Utah Valley (6-9) came alive to pound UCSB for 13 hits in the five-inning nightcap, 11-1.
Madelyn McNally led the Gauchos’ offense, going 4-for-5 with a triple, two walks, and two runs scored in the two games. Tyler Goldstein scored twice in the opener after rapping a pair of doubles. Rayna Cohen added a two-run double.
GSAC honors Westmont’s Johnson
Westmont College senior Bri Johnson was named Golden State Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Week for her goal in the Warriors’ 1-0 victory over Hope International.
Johnson, last year’s GSAC Player of the Year and a second-team All-American, ranks 15th all-time at Westmont with 32 goals.
“Bri played a really complete game in our match against Hope,” coach Jenny Jaggard said. “She did a lot of work for us defensively and created numerous opportunities with her movement in the attack. She did a great job leading us as one of our captains.”