BOULDER, Colo. – UC Santa Barbara may have not been victorious in its California Conference opener against Santa Clara, but the Gauchos did play some of their best rugby of the season. After falling by only 10 points to the 20th-ranked team in the Canterbury Top 20, a platform has been set for Santa Barbara build off of, and D1A Player of the Week Erick Resendiz is, in part, to thank.
“Erick is a great leader on and off the field,” said UC Santa Barbara Head Coach Tim Lewis. “He has done a fantastic job of developing our team culture by setting the standards for us, and leading from the front.”
Described by assistant coach Freddy Waititi as “reliable”, Resendiz lived up to his billing Feb. 13 against the Broncos. After setting up the Gauchos first try with an impressive line break and sleek offload to David Cota, Santa Barbara’s captain got himself on the score sheet with a second half try of his own.
A senior preparing to graduate this spring with a degree in Global Studies, Resendiz played hooker and No. 8 before becoming an invaluable piece to the Gaucho program as a prop.
Resendiz, and several of his teammates, will need to play at a high level in order to win its first California match of the season this weekend. The boys from Santa Barbara travel south to face 12th-ranked San Diego State Feb. 20.