Director of Athletics Debby De Angelis.
Happy New Year and welcome back to campus! The Athletics Department is already buzzing with excitement about all the great events coming up this winter and spring. With basketball's conference season now in full swing, swimming making the push towards conference championships and baseball, softball and water polo all prepping for their seasons, January is going to be an action-packed month.
Men's basketball is coming off an historic win last week, when it upset No. 6 Cal Poly Pomona on the road. The Broncos had previously been undefeated and were the second top-10 opponent that the men have beaten this year. Congrats to Head Coach Will Biggs and the team on a great win! Meanwhile, the women have already matched their win total from last season and are looking to make a run to close out the first half of conference play.
With both teams looking to make their presence felt in the CCAA in 2012, we are planning some great events at upcoming basketball games. First, we need all of the Cal State East Bay community's support when we hold our second annual Pack the Gym Night when the teams take on Chico State on Jan. 20. The promotion will be filled with fun contests and prizes and if we reach 1,000 fans in attendance, everyone in the gym gets a coupon for free Chipotle! The next night, the teams will meet Cal State Stanislaus and we'll welcome the students from local elementary schools who participated in our "Read with the Pioneers" program to reward them for all the great reading they did this year.
We're also just one month away from Homecoming 2012, which will be held the week of Feb. 6-12. 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 start getting ready for what is sure to be another great Homecoming Week, full of Pioneer pride.
If that isn't enough, the Pioneer swim team also returns to competition this month, traveling to San Jose State and Fresno State this weekend before returning to Hayward on Jan. 20 for their final home meet of the season against Fresno Pacific. Help us honor Christine Gee and Sara Bonino on their Senior Day by coming out to Pioneer Pool to cheer on the team at 2 p.m. before heading to the basketball doubleheader that night.
February is just around the corner and that means baseball, softball and water polo seasons are too! We're beyond excited to see what our new baseball coaching staff is going to do this year. The Pioneer baseball team will open the season at home against Sonoma State on Feb. 4. Meanwhile, the Pioneer softball team has a great mix of new and old faces that look set to make their mark this season. Though the team starts its season on the road, they'll be home in time to celebrate Homecoming with a pair of "Battle of the Bay" doubleheaders against SF State on Feb. 10 and 11. Lastly, coming off its best finish in the WWPA Tournament last year, the water polo team is set to continue to rise this season, which kicks off with the annual alumni game on Jan. 28. The regular season is set to begin with local conference rival Sonoma State on Feb. 4 at Pioneer Pool.
Hope the first week back to classes is a good one and don't forget to come out and cheer on our teams!