Matchup With Stanford Awaits at E-Bar Invite

Joel Silva and the Cougars will compete in the E-Bar Invitational this weekend. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- The BYU men’s volleyball team kicks off the 2009 season when it travels to the 45th Annual Elephant Bar Restaurant Collegiate Invitational hosted by UC Santa Barbara on Jan. 9-10. The third-seeded Cougars will face off against Mountain Pacific Sports Federation foe Stanford, the sixth seed, in the first round on Friday at 1 p.m. PT.

Other teams competing in the Invitational are Cal State Northridge, Long Beach State, Pacific, UC Irvine, and UCLA. The tournament will give teams and fans a good look at some of the top teams in the MPSF and the country.

Seven of the eight participating teams are ranked in the top-15 nationally, while six of those are found in the top-10. The AVCA preseason national rankings, which were released Dec. 30, ranked UCLA No. 2, Long Beach State No. 4, Cal State Northridge No. 5, UC Irvine No. 6, Stanford No. 8, BYU No. 9, and UCSB No. 14.

The Cougars are opening the season after winning the BYU Tournament and defeating several teams during the fall including UC Irvine, Hawaii and USC. In 2008 BYU and Stanford split a pair of matches played in Provo as the Cardinal handed the Cougars only their second home loss in the last two years and their first loss of the season.

Fans that purchase tickets in advance will receive discounted rates for All Session Passes - $12 for adults, $9 for seniors (55 and over), and $6 for youths (ages 4 to 13). If not purchased in advance, prices for All Session passes are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors, and $8 for youths. Single day passes are also available for $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, and $5 for youths.

Tickets can be purchased several ways - online through Ticket Return, by calling the Ticket Office at (805) 893-UCSB, or by stopping by the Ticket Office in the Intercollegiate Athletics building on UCSB’s campus. Additionally, the box offices at the Events Center and Robertson Gymnasium will open one hour prior to the first match each day (noon and 6 p.m. on Friday, 10 a.m. on Saturday) for walk-up sales.

For more information on tickets, parking, match schedules, and participating teams, please visit the tournament Web site HERE.