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Gauchos Sign 4 for Volleyball Team

UCSB goes outside to bring in heavy hitters and a middle blocker/opposite.

UCSB men’s volleyball head coach Ken Preston announced Friday that the Gauchos have picked up four high school seniors during the 2007 fall signing period. Outside hitters Grant Goswiller, Mark Liebermann and Matt Townsend, as well as middle blocker/opposite Jake Piva will don the blue and gold for the 2009 season.

Goswiller, a 6-foot-3 outside hitter, hails from Coto de Caza and Tesoro High. He has also played club ball for Balboa Bay and OC Riptides. Goswiller was an all-tournament selection at the 2007 Junior Olympics (17 Open) in Atlanta. Outside of volleyball, he was a member of the Lionsheart Community Service Club and the Invisible Children’s Club. In the classroom, Goswiller was a three-year Presidential Honor Roll member.

Liebermann is from Newport Beach and Newport Harbor High. The 6-foot-5 outside hitter was part of a Balboa Bay Volleyball Club squad that took first place at the 2007 Holiday Classic.

Piva, a 6-foot-8 middle/opposite, is from Valencia and won a CIF title with Valencia High, a perennial powerhouse in the Foothill League. With Santa Monica Beach Club, he won a 2007 title in the Open Division and has twice been named all-tourney at Junior Olympics.

Townsend is from Granada Hills and plays for Chaminade College Prep. A four-year letter-winner, the 6-foot-4 outside hitter has garnered First Team All-Mission League honors. In 2007, he was a member of the Southern California Volleyball Association Regional Team that competed at the Slovenia Global Challenge. Townsend won gold at the 2007 Junior Olympics (17 Open) and silver at the 2006 JOs (16 Open).

The Gauchos open their 2008 campaign with an exhibition match against Canadian powerhouse Alberta at 7 p.m. Jan. 2 at Robertson Gymnasium. The regular season kicks off with the annual Elephant Bar Restaurant Collegiate Invitational Jan. 4-5 in Santa Barbara. Joining UCSB will be Alberta, Cal State Northridge, Long Beach State, Pacific, Stanford, UC Irvine and USC.

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