Director of Athletics Debby De Angelis.
Despite what the warm weather might tell us, winter is quickly approaching and it's hard to believe our fall sports seasons are nearly over. Though cross country, volleyball and soccer are closing out the fall campaign, the action won't stop for the Pioneers, with basketball and swimming seasons already upon us.
The past month has seen the fall teams finish out with a flourish, with women's soccer capping the season with a weekend split that saw them topple Cal State Dominguez Hills. Meanwhile, the men posted their first conference win of the season, taking down San Francisco State last month. The cross country teams became the first teams to compete for a CCAA title on Oct. 22, when they raced at the conference championship meet in Santa Rosa. Both teams found success at the meet, with the women even notching new personal records.
Though men and women's soccer and men's cross country are finished for the year, we've still got plenty of action for the Pioneer volleyball and women's cross country teams. This weekend, volleyball will host its final homestand of the season, taking on Chico State and Cal State Stanislaus. After posting its first weekend sweep of the CCAA season last week, volleyball sits in fifth place in the standings and could move into fourth place with a win over the Wildcats, putting itself into good position to make the NCAA Tournament.
The women's cross country team will look to make a name for itself this weekend as well, as it travels to the NCAA West Regional meet in Spokane, Wash., on Saturday. The Pioneers have seen the course before at the Erik Anderson Invitational in September and will be the first team to compete at an NCAA event since we returned to Division II.
Despite the fall sports coming to an end, there will be no break in the action, as basketball and swimming seasons are already underway. We had a great time at the Basketball Madness season kickoff event and loved all the great support from students, staff, faculty and the community. The event featured an introduction of the teams, contests and prizes for students, live music and performances from dance teams, Mr. and Ms. CSUEB and the new Pioneer cheer squad.
Both the men and women will kick off the 2011-12 campaign on Nov. 11, with the men hosting Dominican and the women traveling to San Rafael for the first game of the CCAA/Pac West Challenge against Academy of Art. Both teams will open the CCAA season on Dec. 2, when Sonoma State comes to Pioneer Gym. With a mix of old and new faces, both teams will be looking to make an impact in the CCAA this season and are ready to make a run for a spot in the conference tournament at the end of the season.
The women's swimming team is also already a few weeks into its season and already making waves. Newcomer Jenel Lopez broke the program record for the 100 freestyle in just the second meet of the season and fans will get a chance to see the Pioneers in action at Pioneer Pool against UC Santa Cruz on Nov. 19.
Now that basketball season is upon us, it's time to start talking about Homecoming 2012, which will be held the week of Feb. 6-11. The week will feature all the usual events, including the East Bay Idol competition, Pioneer Pep Rally, Homecoming Parade and exciting basketball action. In addition, as part of the 50th anniversary celebration, we will honor the first Pioneer team - 1961-62 men's basketball - and welcome back alumni for another chance to commemorate the accomplishments of all the great teams, student-athletes, coaches and administrators in Pioneer history. So save the date for what is sure to be another great Homecoming Week, full of Pioneer pride.
We've got plenty of excitement to come this winter and we can't wait to get it all underway. See you out there and go Pioneers!