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Pioneers end the year with awards


Junior Claire Pierce led the water polo team in scoring and posted a 3.78 GPA to earn Academic All-District honors for the second time.

  • June 4, 2012

Conference recognition 

The 2011-12 seasons were big ones for Cal State East Bay, as we celebrated the 50th anniversary of Pioneer Athletics as well as the first year as an active member of the NCAA Division II. The Pioneers finished the year with strong showings in baseball, softball, golf, and water polo — including the first NCAA postseason appearance since returning to Division II and becoming eligible for post-season play. 

  • Baseball players A.J. Gallardo and Jordan Wilder were both honored as All-CCAA selections in May. After going 6-1 overall with a 2.54 earned run average this year, Gallardo also earned ABCA All-West Region Second Team honors, becoming the second Pioneer baseball player to earn the honor since returning to Division II. Read more about Gallardo.
  • Softball players Sara Holdridge and Taylor Neumann doubled up on All-West Region awards. Holdridge was named to the All-West Region First Team by both Daktronics and the NFCA, while Neumann collected Second Team honors from both organizations as well. Read more about their standout seasons.
  • Water polo player Claire Pierce was recognized for her efforts both in the pool and in the classroom, collecting her second straight Capital One Academic All-District Women’s At-Large First Team honors. Already the all-time leading scorer and two-time All-WWPA First Team selection, Pierce added her second Academic All-District honors last month after earning a 3.78 grade point average as a kinesiology major. Read more about Australian native Pierce.

Annual Pioneer Student-Athlete Banquet

Golfer Chris Herzog and swimmer Jenel Lopez were named Male and Female Athlete of the Year. Herzog led the Pioneers during the regular season with a 74.48 scoring average, winning one individual title and guiding the team to its first NCAA Regional appearance, while Lopez ranked among the top 30 in Division II in the 50-, 100- and 200-meter freestyle, breaking school records in all three events while anchoring four record-breaking relay teams and guiding the team to its best-ever finish at PCSC Championships.

Volleyball player Morgan Hirzel was honored as the Pioneer Spirit Award winner for her dedication to and support of the athletics program this season, while Herzog and women’s soccer player Tenaya Davis were announced as the Cal State East Bay winners of the CCAA’s Hal Charnofsky Memorial Award for their academic and athletic achievements.

Each team and the Pioneer sports medicine staff also honored their top students with the Scholar-Athlete Award.

  • Ed Rettagliata, baseball
  • Jason Smith and Hege Blikra, basketball
  • Chris Gallagher and Gabby Cruz, cross country’s
  • Chris Herzog and Linda Brown, golf
  • Tenaya Davis and Tyler Andersen, soccer
  • Jamie Yaller, softball
  • John Vergara and Nastassia Hamor, track
  • Katie Allen, volleyball
  • Marrina Nation, water polo
  • Bret Gibson, sports medicine

We also got a chance to thank and honor our 50 seniors, who have all helped to guide us into Division II and have helped make this first year as an active member a huge success. In particular, we honored nine student-athletes who were four-year letterwinners for their teams, as part of the last class to have made the difficult transition from Division III to Division II: Breanna Baker, Gabby Cruz, Tenaya Davis, Christine Gee, Breezy Johnson, Frieda Li, Francisco Pulido, and Michelle Quintero.

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