Falling into the top

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Michael Sampson--Marc Hope leaps into the arms of teammates Dan Kelly and Tim Wardell.

With four teams ranked in the top 15 in the nation, California Baptist University Athletics excelled in the Fall 2010 season.

Men’s soccer, water polo, and cross country, along with women’s volleyball and soccer thrived so far this year.

The Lancers broke records in 2010. With five out six teams achieving national rankings, CBU has become a national standout in multiple sports.

Men’s soccer is ranked fifth in the nation, along with women’s soccer in 14th, women’s volleyball in sixth, and men’s water polo in 15th. Cross country showed determination with top 10 finishes in multiple races.

“The main reason we’re doing well is because we have really good coaches and we’ve been blessed with some really good student athletes,” Athletic Director, Micah Parker said.

Men’s soccer continued its best season ever; beating Fresno Pacific University on the road for the first time in 13 years. With help from a record- breaking defense, the team has lost only twice this season.

For the first time in the program’s history, men’s soccer have achieved a national ranking. The Lancers have five players that were named GSAC players of the week this season. For multiple weeks, CBU soccer has had players in the running for the Press Enterprise Performer of the Week.

“We’ve got some really good young players and it’s obvious that the returning players improved this year. They had a good spring and summer and they are better. We got some returners that are having their best year ever here,” Parker said.

Men’s water polo continues its annual dominance with a record of 19-3. With players like Aaron Steiger recording 79 goals already this season, the Lancers look to compete in the national tournament in November. The team has only fallen short only a few times this season, recording losses to NCAA Division I UC Irvine and No. 1 ranked University of Southern California.

Men’s cross country has achieved a national ranking of 24 with the help of a first place finish at the Redlands Invitational led by Sergio Rodriguez (sophomore) and Mitchell Moore (sophomore) on Sept. 10. The men have finished in the top half in each of the four races they have competed in this season.

Women’s volleyball achieved its longest winning streak ever with 18 wins. Ranked sixth in the nation, the Lancers’ Bree Rauschenbach (junior), Jessica Kalama (junior) and Ingrid Carmona (sophomore) led the way as they are the main contributors to the team’s impressive 1060 kills on the season along with a 21-2 record. The Lancers gave up a mere 786 kills to their opponents so far.

With three straight top-ten finishes in the NAIA Directors Cup, the CBU athletic department looks to leave the NAIA with another stellar finish, as it transitions into the NCAA Division II conference.

“It’s definitely going to be a challenge and a step up, but we’re ready for it and we don’t plan on coming in at the bottom of a conference. We know we’ll be competitive,” Parker said.