The 2017 season came to a disappointing end for the Gauchos when they were not selected to the field for the MCLA National Championship Tournament. UCSB finished with an overall record of 8 wins and 6 losses, and reached the SLC (conference) semifinals.
“It’s a tough way to end the season for the team and especially for our senior class,” said Head Coach Mike Allan. “I think it’s fair to feel frustrated with the tournament selection process, but we should learn from this and there are plenty of things we can and will improve upon moving forward. Ultimately, we can’t put ourselves in a position where our season can be ended on a conference call.”
UCSB was ranked 13th in the final regular season MCLA poll. The Gauchos faced 6 of the top 10 seeds that made the tournament field, and had a head to head win over 10 seed Colorado State. Despite facing such tough competition, the selection committee did not feel that the Gauchos overall resume warranted a spot in the tournament. One issue that Coach Allan mentioned was the lack of wins over teams in the MCLA Top 25.
“When we started the season, we had games scheduled with teams throughout the top 25,” Allan said. “Unfortunately, some of our wins did not help us as we had hoped as those opponents dropped out of the polls. Our schedule became a bit ‘top heavy’ and we didn’t have the number of wins over ranked opponents that we needed.”
With the 2017 season in the books, the Gauchos now look forward and will begin preparations for the 2018 campaign where they hope to make a return to the National Championship Tournament.