What do the Green Bay Packers, Dallas Mavericks, St. Louis Cardinals and the California Baptist University Lancers all have in common? They all have won championships in 2011.
The year of 2011 has been a major year for sports teams; however, in the end there can be only one champion and four Lancer sports teams finished on top. Men’s golf, men’s and women’s soccer and women’s volleyball all claimed the NCAA title of national champions for 2011.
The transition was difficult for most of the athletes from NAIA to NCAA. It is a three-year process to move to NCAA, plus a two-year probation rule not granting new teams access to the NCAA tournament. These changes left a lot of athletes skeptical of what to expect.
“We were so blessed to be a part of the NCCAA national tournament this year, not only because we won nationals but because of all the opportunities we had to reach out to others about Christ. There was a day that we spent doing volunteer work which moved our team to look at the bigger picture during the tournament, which also brought the team together to pull off a win in the end. I look forward to going back next year,” Kitra Walters, junior and defensive mid-fielder, said.
The men’s golf team won the program’s first NCCAA championship title in October 2011 which took place in Panama City Beach, Florida. Not only did the men’s golf team win nationals, but they also had four of five players finish in the top
After winning nationals, the golf team is back to kick off the spring season with a strong start.
The women’s volleyball team and both soccer teams went to Kissimmee, Florida for the week of Nov. 28-Dec. 4. All three teams played within 30 minutes of one another, so the teams were able to attend one another’s games experience the championships not only for themselves, but for their fellow Lancers as well.
The women’s soccer team played a quick three games to become national champions. The journey ended with a championship for the women’s team on Dec. 3 at 3 p.m.
“Even though winning is always fun, working hard for the win is an even better feeling. Trinity was the only team in the tournament that scored on us, which made us work and want it so much more.” Walters said.
The game was tied at 1-1 until sophomore Bernadette Witz scored the winning goal.
The men’s soccer had a similar experience with their final game of the season. They came head-to-head with Geneva in the final match. It was tied the entire time until the final minutes when freshman Michael Salazar scored the winning point to make the final score 2-1.
“There were three seniors on the team and we have been with the our coach for four years and making the progression from freshman year to winning the national tournament my senior year definitely proved that all our hard work paid off,” William Rupert, senior center back, said.
The women’s volleyball team also had a long journey making it to the “big dance” on Dec. 3. They played six games in three days and came out with a 3-0 set win over all opponents. The exception was Trinity, who they faced in the championship game. Trinity took the first set off the Lancers but the girls fought back and claimed the next three straight sets.
“We always talked about doing the dog pile sometime through our careers and after the final game we all got to do that at the end. This season was a roller coaster ride for the team; we had to set aside a lot of things and remember what the word ‘team’ actually meant and winning nationals together was like a cherry on top to end the volleyball season. We came together. It was great being able to win it, especially for the seniors,” Haley Musulman, junior on the women’s volleyball team, said.
Not only did these Lancers win nationals but they were also multiple All-Americans and Academic All-Americans.
Christmas came early for these CBU teams of 2011 and they will definitely be getting their rings by spring.
Fans will now be looking forward to spring sports which are underway. The Lancers have proven they know how to play hard and they will not settle for anything but their best.