Men’s volleyball number one

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Bryan Jarboe--Outstanding hitting has equaled much success for CBU this season.

It has been another successful regular season for California Baptist University’s men’s volleyball team, as they have ridden their 22-5 record to a No. 1 seed in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics tournament.

The Lancers have not lost to any NAIA team this season, as all of the Lancers’ five losses this season came to teams ranked in the top 15 of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. This season marks the Lancers eighth 20 win season in nine years.

Their overall record is impressive enough by itself, however even more impressive is their 15-0 record at home this season, where they have beaten a few NCAA Division I powerhouses including No. 2 ranked University of California, Irvine, No. 15 University of California, San Diego and No. 6 University of California, Santa Barbara.

The Lancers also beat NCAA Division I No. 6, Stanford University at their home stadium in Palo Alto, Calif.

The CBU men’s volleyball program is familiar with success both in regular season play and in the NAIA national tournament.

Since 1999 they have amassed a record of 267 wins and 98 losses.

During that span they also went 41-8 in NAIA National tournament play, for a winning percentage of nearly 84 percent, including 19 straight tournament wins from 2004 to the 2007.

Along with all those single game victories, the CBU men’s volleyball program currently holds seven national championships from 1999, 2001, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2010.

“The special thing about going into this year was knowing that this would be our last chance for an NAIA national championship,” Aaron McCalmont, the starting outside hitter for the Lancers, said.

The Lancers have earned their No. 1 seed as they have faced a tough schedule this year. 17 of the Lancers 27 games this season were against ranked opponents, eight of those against NCAA Division I schools.

“The benefit of playing those schools this year really sharpened our skills and gave us some tough competition to go up against, showing us our weaknesses and strengths,” McCalmont said.

The team spent all season preparing for another national title run and remains hopeful, humble and focused as they enter postseason play.

“Holding the ranking as No. 1 all year has made us confident knowing that we deserve it but I am not sure I would say we have been prideful,” McCalmont said. “Since the beginning of the season we had the goal to win it all this year and with that being the passion of the team, I believe we have great expectations to play our best and in the process win another national title,” McCalmont said.

They began tournament play on Thursday, April 14, in search of their eighth national title.