December 8, 2023

Free Chick-fil-A, free t-shirts and a game against University of California, Los Angeles is what drew students into the already overflowing gym on Feb. 8. One of the largest crowds in the history of the Van Dyne Gym gathered to watch California Baptist University’s men’s volleyball team earn a 3-2 upset victory against the UCLA Bruins.

The crowd turnout was so tremendous that some students were not allowed in the gym because it reached its capacity level. The CBU Crazies were in their usual position as the bleachers were filled with students wearing their brand new “Beat the Bruins” shirts. Fans watched every set closely, as each one was determined by the last few points.

The crowd played a big part in beating the Bruins. The Lancers have never hosted a volleyball game against UCLA, so they made the most of this home court opportunity.

Guilherme Koepp, sophomore business administration major and outisde hitter, said, “It was really easy to achieve motivation with that crowd watching and cheering for us.”

The Lancers won the first and third sets in overtime, ensuring the game was going to be determined in the fifth set. When the Bruins were unable to scrape together the last few points in the decisive fifth set, the Lancers won the game.

“This win gives our team a lot of confidence,” Koepp said. “Especially since we lost a lot of matches we were not supposed to lose.”

Aaron McCalmont, senior kinesiology major and outside hitter, has high hopes for the team after this game.

“When we stay together as a team and play how we know we can I think we could be the top team in the country,” said McCalmont.

He is looking forward to staying strong as a team and finishing this season with many more wins.

Through the first 11 games of the season, the No. 11 Lancers are 6-5 and in sixth place in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. The players say that some of their five losses should not have happened, but they do agree if they continue playing how they did against UCLA they should continue winning.

CBU is back in action on Feb. 13 at No. 5 Pepperdine University and Feb. 14 at No. 10 University of Southern California.

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