For the second year in a row, CBU women’s volleyball played a match in the Events Center. This year, the Lancers topped California State University, Bakersfield, in a 3-2 nail-biter in front of a record crowd.
The Lancers took a back-and-forth first set by a final of 25-21. Bakersfield answered with a close 25-18 win in Set 2.
CBU retook the lead in yet another tight set, winning the third 25-20. Bakersfield dominated Set 4 with a 25-10 victory to even the match 2-2 and force a decisive fifth set.
The Lancers and Roadrunners exchanged scoring runs in the fifth and the Lancers hung on to win the set 15-12 and come out on top.
“For us to come back and have the toughness and the grittiness to get it together and win that fifth was unbelievable,” said Branden Higa, head coach of CBU women’s volleyball. “It was just a tremendous win. All heart by our team.”
Natalie Zimmerer, senior business administration and marketing double major, recorded her 2,000th career assist during the match.
“We’ve had a lot of challenges this season and it was so nice to just finally come through, deal with that adversity and get a win,” Zimmerer said.
In 2018, the Lancers took down the University of California, Riverside, in the Crosstown Showdown in front of a then-record 2,768 fans. This year, CBU topped that attendance with a new record of 3,418 Lancer fans in attendance.
“Last year’s atmosphere was incredible. This was even better,” Higa said. “3,000 plus brought it all night and we absolutely won points all night long because of them. I can’t wait to do it again.”
Miranda Hald, senior public relations major, said the fan experience at the game was one of a kind.
“It was very energetic and lively, which is something we haven’t seen for a while,” Hald said. “There was constant support and love for the Lancer Nation.”
The Lancers went into the match coming off a tough five-set loss Oct. 19 to Grand Canyon University. Zimmerer said it was important for CBU to bounce back.
“GCU is great this year so it was fun to battle with them, but we did need a win under our belt, so I’m glad we got that tonight,” Zimmerer said.
Four of the Lancers’ last six games in conference play were decided in five sets. CBU now sits at 4-4 in the Western Athletic Conference.
“We had some ups and downs early because we were trying to figure out our offensive system,” Higa said.
The Lancers look to build on the momentum from this win as they prepare to face the University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley, on Oct. 26 on the road.