The men’s volleyball team at California Baptist University has been able to hang with their Mountain Pacific Sports Federation opponents, bringing strength to the court at each game. The team currently holds a 7-7 record overall with a 3-7 record in MPSF play. Until recently, the team was unsuccessful in conference until a match against No. 11-ranked University of California, Irvine.
Success was found once more Feb. 5 in a match against University of California, San Diego, with a score of 3-1. The team took UCSD to four sets, 25-21, 21-25, 25-15 and 25-23.
The team showcased their hard work Feb. 10 when they were able to put up a fight against No. 1-ranked California State University, Long Beach, also taking the team to four sets, 25-20, 17-25, 25-16, 25-21, but falling 3-1.
The Lancers found another MPSF win Feb. 12 in a match between California State University, Northridge, winning 4-1. The team took CSUN to five sets, 25-14, 21-25, 19,25, 27-25, 16-14. Cody Jackson, junior mechanical engineering major and opposite hitter, said the team has improved since last year.
“We just have a better mindset with our coaching staff and our players,” Jackson said. “We are not out there to just be mediocre, we are out here to win.” Jackson said the team has found a chemistry that has grown throughout the season.
“I feel like we have a well put together team here,” Jackson said. “We all get along and you can just kind of tell we have a different dynamic on the court.”
Derek Schmitt, head coach of the men’s volleyball team, said this season is going well.
“We were off to a good start with a 3-0 and then we dropped a lot of tough matches where we were pretty competitive playing against the top-10 competition and finally broke through at Irvine,” Schmitt said. “We went 4-0 last week and played a good match against Long Beach but came up short. Then we played a good first set tonight (Feb. 12) and Northridge really stepped up the next couple sets.” Schmitt said he changed some things to move forward from the team’s losses, which improved their matches.
“We made some line up changes and some guys came through at different times,” Schmitt said. “(Jackson), he only played a total of about 6-7 points the whole night. He got us an ace to win the whole match. It’s a big conference win for us,” Schmitt said.
Enrique de Diego Garcia, sophomore business administration major and middle blocker, expressed how the team is improving this season.
“We are growing a lot, during this season we are serving really good, and we’re passing really good, so that is making everything for us this year,” Garcia said.
The newly No. 10-ranked Lancers will take on University of California, Los Angeles, Feb. 24 in L.A. at 7 p.m. The team plans to continue to improve on the season and bring another win.