As they wear their national championship rings proudly, the California Baptist University Men’s Volleyball team is getting ready to hit the courts once again for another impressive season.
With practices in the early hours of the morning, the Lancers prepare for a challenging season against schools like Princeton University, Harvard University and Stanford University.
This is the last season CBU’s Men’s Volleyball team will be a part of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), before making the big transition to NCAA Division II.
They are going to be playing tougher teams but with some schools being a bigger challenge to them this season, they will be on the right track to making a great impact in the NCAA.
“When we play strong teams, they make us stronger,” Mcguyre said.
Their goal is not to win another National Championship but to be something bigger and better.
“We want to stay disciplined and motivated. We want to play the top programs, and always keep it up high; we want to be the best team,” junior middle blocker, Garet Kreutziger said.
Along with tough games this season, the Lancers also look to play in highly competitive tournaments around the United States.
”We play in the Elephant Bar (EBAR) Tournament in Santa Barbara, which is a really big tournament that last year we finished in third. Hopefully this year we’ll be in first,” Kreutziger said.
Off the court, this team has gotten to be one big happy family.
“Last year we were divided,” Mcguyre said. “Now we are together and have a good work ethic which makes us play well. The greatest excitement of last year was the men’s volleyball family.”
There have been new additions to the team including freshmen and transfers.
“This year we have had the youngest team we’ve had in a long time. It’s going to be different in the way we connect. We have chemistry and have so much talent in every single player,” Kreutziger said.
“We have our returning key players such as Mohammad Kattab, Ricky Brazee and Levi Cabral. But now we have more players that are stepping up to make their statement as up-and-coming transfers. Look out for Micah Sherman and Joseph Fitzgerald,” Mcguyre said.
Michael Cate, freshmen outsider hitter, though very excited to be a part of this new team is also quite nervous.
“I feel a little pressure because of the success they’ve had, but I’m expecting to finish high like they did last year,” Cate said. The team has also made Cate feel welcomed into the family, “Our relationship has grown a lot now that we are practicing everyday.”
Another member that has joined the CBU family is Guilherme Koepp, freshman outside hitter all the way from Brazil. Now that CBU’s Men’s Volleyball team has two players from Brazil, they will surely be bringing the brazilian heat.
This is Koepp’s first time playing in the US and he loves every minute of it.
“I like playing here because they work hard,” Koepp said.
Kreutziger, Cate, Koepp and Daniel Freitas all agree that they are going to strive for their goals this season to hopefully win another back-to-back championship and are looking forward to playing in the EBAR tournament.
CBU Men’s Volleyball first home exhibition match against Pepperdine kicks of this season Wed, Nov. 10.