At the beginning of the fall semester and the start of California Baptist University’s second year of Division I competition, I wrote about the top storylines to watch. In this edition of Cullen’s Column, we take a look back at how those storylines developed and a look ahead at the top Lancer storylines to watch this semester.
In September, I asked if CBU men’s soccer would be able to replace 2018 top scorer Preston Judd. The Lancers topped their 2018 conference record, but it was the women’s soccer team that stole the headlines by finishing as the regular-season Western Athletic Conference runners-up.
The Lancer volleyball team could not replicate their statement 21-win season as a first-year Division I team in 2018, but CBU’s men’s water polo team took home third place at the Western Water Polo Association Championships to secure their best-ever finish in the conference.
I wrote that Milan Acquaah, junior business administration major, would be cannot-miss entertainment again this year. He won two WAC Player of the Week Awards and was named on the Lou Henson Award mid-season watch list.
Acquaah tested the professional waters by declaring for the 2019 NBA draft. Now a junior, Acquaah and the Lancers have a winning record to start conference play this year.
On the women’s side, CBU basketball dropped its first four games of WAC play. There is no need for panic, however, as the Lancers were 0-3 to start conference play last season before going on a tear and finishing as the regular-season conference runners-up.
In February, attention shifts to the diamonds as CBU softball and baseball kick off. Lancer softball returns two of three All-WAC honorees, but will look to replace graduated star pitcher Kellie Springstead.
Of the six all-conference athletes on CBU baseball’s 2019 WAC championship team, only one will return in 2020. That lone returner happens to be freshman All-American Chad Castillo, sophomore business administration major. Head coach Gary Adcock has just one losing season in his 15 years at CBU: His second season with the program in 2005.
In the pool, Lancer women’s water polo boasts two All-Americans on its 2020 roster as the team looks to top last year’s Golden Coast Conference finish when they host the conference tournament in April.
If 2019 was any indication, Lancer athletics will make plenty of headlines in the new year.