February 21, 2024

A crowd full of parents, a gym full of Crazies and a team exploding with enthusiasm was part of Homecoming Weekend at California Baptist University. Part of the excitement was a matchup between the women’s volleyball team and the Concordia University, Irvine Eagles Nov 7.

With final scores of 25-23, 32-30 and 25-16, the Lancers battled from the start and stole momentum from CUI in a three-set sweep.

The match was a necessary win as the Lancers approach West Regionals.

Nicci Hinderaker, freshman kinesiology major, defensive specialist and libero, said the match was a turning point after a three game losing streak.

“It shows we’re still in it and were going to fight harder,” Hinderaker said.

The first game consisted of a neck-and-neck fight when the Lancers came back after trailing seven points behind the Eagles. Defensive plays made by Jessica Harris, junior nutrition sciences major, and Jordyn Siko, senior biology major, kept the women in it as they stole the first game.

The second game the Lancers were behind 24-17 as some people in the gym held their breath. A comeback was crucial and that is exactly what was delivered. The Lancers came back eight points to bring the game to 25-24.

The crowd roared as the game bounced back and forth, working for the two points needed to win the set. The Lancers won the game with a final score of 32-30. Hinderaker said this win was because the team started strong, stayed aggressive and kept mentally tough. From that point on, the momentum of the match changed hands.

The third and final match was a fast win filled with energy. Key plays were made by Jenna Perry, junior liberal studies major, and Lauren Marr, junior criminal justice major, as they stole the game with a 25-16 score.

Branden Higa, head coach of the women’s volleyball team said the level of performance at which the team played shifted the momentum in their favor.

“We showed resilience, grittiness and aggression to make the win happen,” Higa said.

The team finished the season ranked first in the PacWest with a winning record of 21-7 overall and had several of its athletes named to All-PacWest teams as well as two athletes named to  the American Volleyball Coaches Association NCAA Division II All-West Region teams.

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