After years of hard work and procedure of transition into the National Collegiate Athletic Association, California Baptist University’s women’s water polo team faces new challenges in the season.
Four years ago, CBU’s athletic programs were in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics and had to complete three years of transitioning to officially become an NCAA Division II program. Unlike most other sports, women’s water polo disregards the division, meaning the top-20 ranking is based nationally and is open to all NCAA Division I, II and III schools.
Before establishing the Golden Coast Conference, Jacob Medina, former head coach of women’s water polo planned to join the Western Water Polo Association. However, the team did not get accepted by one of the main pre-existing members of the conference.
With the help of the coaches of San Diego State University and former WWPA member, Loyola Marymount University, the CBU women’s water polo team started a new conference that is now also home to Azusa Pacific University, San Diego State University, Fresno State University, University of the Pacific, Loyola Marymount University and Santa Clara University.
With joining the new conference, the women’s water polo team plays not only to advance in the national ranking but this year a new goal was put to
“Now with a conference we have something else to work for,” said Christina Young and masters in kinesiology student, driver on CBU’s women’s water polo team.
Young said she is excited to move into the GCC. Because of the change to NCAA Division II, this is the first conference in the history of CBU women’s water polo.
Young said she is looking forward to having more goals to work toward within the challenges presented in the new conference setting.
“I think we will do well,” Young said. “We stack up well against the other competition. It will take a lot of hard work but we have the potential to win the conference.”
Lina Medeiros, sophomore kinesiology major said she also is in favor of the change to the GCC.
“Our team has many challenges to face this season but as a team it is important to take it one game at a time,” Medeiros said. “The conference has other teams that are just as hungry as we are, but it is our responsibility to show them what we are about.”