Director of Athletics Debby De Angelis.
May is upon us and for the Athletics Department that means the spring sports season is drawing to a close. It’s hard to believe how quickly our first year as an active member in Division II has gone by. It’s not quite over yet, however, as the spring squads have ramped up the action an excitement to end the season.
Though it’s just our first year of eligibility for the NCAA postseason since returning to Division II, the men’s golf team has become our first team to earn an NCAA Division II Regional berth. The Pioneers are set to travel to Litchfield Park, Ariz., for the Central/West Regional on May 7-9. The NCAA postseason appearance will also be the first in program history after the squad finished the season ranked ninth in the NCAA Division II West Region poll. The team will compete against 19 other schools and four individual selections from the Central and West regions, with the top five teams and top two individuals advancing to the 2012 NCAA Finals to be held May 16-19 in Simpsonville, Ky., as part of the Division II Spring Championships Festival. We are so proud of the team and can’t wait to see what they do at the regional tournament.
Read more about the men’s golf team’s NCAA postseason selection
Not to be outdone, the Pioneer water polo team entered the 2012 WWPA Championships as the No. 4 seed and won a pair of close games against No. 5 Santa Clara and No. 6 Cal State Monterey Bay to take third place and post its best finish in program history at the conference event. In addition to making their mark in the record books, the Pioneers had three players, in Claire Pierce, Jayme Pekarske and Carly Clark, named to the WWPA All-Tournament Team following the impressive finish. Both Pierce and Pekarske made repeat appearances on the All-Tournament Team and on the All-WWPA Teams, joining first-time selection Erica Crain as end-of-year honorees. With all the history made and exciting action at the tournament, as well as the well-deserved recognition of our student-athletes, we can’t help but applaud the team on another great season.
Read more about the water polo team’s history-making performance at WWPA Championships
Though they didn’t reach the CCAA Tournament or NCAA postseason, the Pioneer softball team also had an exciting end to their 2012 campaign. The squad entered the last two weeks of the season tied with Sonoma State with the chance of clinching the final spot in the CCAA Championships with a few wins and some help from the rest of the conference. Though the playoffs were not in the cards in the end, the team swept Humboldt State in the penultimate series of the season and made history when Taylor Neumann, Sara Holdridge, Talia Ferrari and Devin Salmones became the first Pioneer softball players to collect All-CCAA honors to cap the team’s first 30-win season since 2000. After smashing several records, posting its best finish ever, both at the Mizuno Tournament of Champions and in the league standings, and earning its first all-conference selections this year we can’t wait to see what the softball team has in store for the future.
Read more about the softball team’s four All-CCAA selections
Not to be forgotten, the Pioneer baseball team is still in action for one more weekend this spring. The team will face off against Bay Area rivals San Francisco State for four games, including a home doubleheader on Saturday. The Pioneers are set to honor 11 seniors on Saturday and will look to finish off strong in Head Coach Bob Ralston’s first season at the helm.
Last, but not least, the Pioneer track teams are getting prepped and ready for the 2012 CCAA Championships this weekend in Los Angeles. Both the men and women’s teams have gained a lot of experience competing at meets against schools from every level and will be looking to make an impact at their first track championship meet under Head Coach Ralph Jones.
Though the seasons are coming to an end, the Athletic Department still has a few important events coming up, including this weekend’s Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. We are so excited to get to honor our six inductees: women's volleyball player Marion Champion, women's basketball and volleyball player Antoinette Goode, football player Don Sawyer, men's tennis player Jeff Southwick, track and field assistant coach Dr. Charles Harmon “Doc” Brown and men's tennis head coach John Nelson. Without the tireless efforts of these six Pioneer legends and the 62 other Hall of Famers, our teams and our program would not be where they are today.
Hope to see you out enjoying the spring weather at baseball this weekend and go Pioneers!