Director of Athletics Debby De Angelis
It's hard to believe that it's already Finals Week here at Cal State East Bay! For our student-athletes this not only means that it's time to get things done in the classroom, but also time for our conference basketball season. In addition, we are already starting to look ahead to the spring seasons which get started shortly after we return to campus in January.
Basketball season started just a month ago and we've already had plenty of excitement. Just last weekend, the men's basketball team opened the CCAA season with back-to-back wins at home against Sonoma State and Humboldt State. In both victories, the Pioneers came from behind and had five players reach double digits in scoring. The win over the Jacks was particularly key, as they were ranked No. 6 in Division II and were picked by the conference coaches to win the CCAA this year. The opening weekend sweep sent a message out to the league that despite being picked to finish last, the Pioneers are out to make a name for themselves in the CCAA this season.
The men have also already garnered honors this season, as Mark Samuels was named to the Western Oregon/Phoenix Inn D2 Shootout All-Tournament Team in November and this week, Roshun Wynne collected Wilson/CCAA Men's Basketball Player of the Week honors. Wynne averaged 16.5 points and six assists in the two wins last week, shooting 47.6 from the field and 50 percent from three-point range. In the victory over the Seawolves, Wynne shot 61.5 percent from the field and knocked down four three-pointers to score 24 points, just one shy of his career high. Roshun's honor also marked the first time a Pioneer men's basketball player has garnered CCAA Player of the Week recognition. We are immensely proud of him and the rest of the team for their great efforts already and are looking forward to what's to come as the season continues.
On the women's side, we have also found early success, as the team opened the regular season with a pair of splits at tournaments in San Rafael and Seattle. The women picked up wins over Dominican and Central Washington and are already well on their way to topping last season's win total. Though we got off to a slow start in conference play last week, the team has already collected honors for their efforts in the preseason. Freshman Micah Walker was named to the Seattle Pacific/Sodexo Classic All-Tournament Team after averaging 12.5 points and 3.5 assists per game in two contests in Seattle. With a combination of new talent and experienced veterans, we're excited to see what the team can put together as we move forward in the CCAA campaign.
Although both teams will be taking brief breaks from competition for finals and the holidays, we've still got plenty of basketball action to come this month. First, the women will take a break from CCAA play to travel just across the bay to Menlo on Dec. 11 and then host Notre Dame de Namur on Dec. 14 at Pioneer Gym. Both teams jump back into league play with doubleheaders against Cal State Dominguez Hills and Cal State LA on Dec. 18 and 19, respectively. After the holidays, the teams will play their final doubleheader of 2011, taking on Cal State Monterey Bay on Dec. 30 at Pioneer Gym.
We also can't forget the Pioneer swim team, whose season is in full swing as we move closer and closer to conference championships in early February. Over the last few weeks, the team has continued to make some great progress in a dual-meet win over UC Santa Cruz and a strong showing in a defeat to Nevada last week at Pioneer Pool. Jenel Lopez notched a pair of wins, while Sara Bonino added a win and a runner up finish for East Bay and both Alyssa Tenney and Bethany Hoopman scored a pair of runner up finishes at the meet against the Division I Rebels.
Next up, the team heads to the Finis Invitational before heading out for a training trip in San Diego during the break from school. Once school resumes, they'll begin to gear up for championships and hold Senior Day at Pioneer Pool in January.
Anyone who is around campus is invited to come out and cheer on the teams during December. With students heading home for the holidays, we can use as many fans as we can get! Hope to see you at Pioneer Gym and happy holidays!