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September 14, 2010 > CSUEB athletics recap

CSUEB athletics recap

By Giovanni Albanese Jr.

Cal State University-East Bay's Lady Pioneers volleyball team can not be denied. Entering their weekend play, they remained unbeaten in the early going of the 2010 season. When their two matches over the weekend were in the rear-view mirror, they still posted a goose egg in the loss column.

On Friday, Sept. 10, the Lady Pioneers hosted Sonoma State and were able to oust them in four sets: 25-22, 25-17, 20-25 and 25-19. As has been the case for their strong run this season to date, it was another total team effort as they improved to 6-0. Katie Allen led the way with kills with eight; Briana Bryant, Sukhjit Athwal and Roxanne Neely each had seven kills. Neely also chipped in with 18 assists while Lauren Massa led the team with 18 digs.

In their second and final game of the weekend, the Lady Pioneers improved to 7-0 on the season with another four-set, home-court victory over Humboldt State: 25-16, 27-25, 25-22 and 25-22. Allen (13), Athwal (12), Bryant (11) and Neely (10) all reached double digits in kills; Amanda Limeberger led the team with an astonishing 31 assists; and it was Massa again topping the team with 26 digs.

Both wins over the weekend were CCAA conference wins, going to 2-0 in the early season. After sweeping through their three-game home stand, the Lady Pioneers take to the road for a five-game swing away from Hayward beginning Wednesday, Sept. 15, at UC San Diego.

Success of the CSUEB women's volleyball team has not rubbed off on the soccer program, however. Both the men and women's programs fell twice over the weekend to ranked opponents Cal State Dominguez Hills and Cal State Los Angeles at Pioneer Stadium.

Friday's (Sept. 10) opponent for CSUEB was Dominguez Hills. For the women, it was going up the national runner up from a year ago, and currently the No. 9 ranked team. It was the Lady Pioneers home opener, and they fell 2-0 to the Lady Toros.

Dominguez Hills got their goals in the first half. Yadira Gomez got the scoring open in the 20th minute; Lexi Ford gave the Toros an insurance goal 12 minutes later. Although East Bay fought back, they couldn't find the back of the net.

"Overall, I'm happy with the effort of our team and particularly, the way we responded in the second half," CSUEB coach Amy Gerace said. "Dominguez Hills is a good team and a team that would have required us to play very disciplined soccer if we wanted a more positive outcome."

Two days later, the Lady Pioneers took a step back against the No. 23 ranked Cal State Los Angeles. Four first-half goals was enough to leave no doubt in who would be victorious. CSULA tacked on two second-half goals for the 6-0 triumph.

CSUEB fell to 2-2-1 on the year, 0-2-0 in CCAA play. They'll next hit the pitch on Friday, Sept. 17, in the first of a four-game road swing that begins at Sonoma State.

Meanwhile, the men soccer club began its home season like the women, with two losses. On Friday, Sept. 10, the inexperienced Pioneers allowed two goals in the first half, three in the second to No. 19 ranked Cal State Dominguez Hills in a 5-0 thumping.

"CSUDH is a solid team and they made us pay for our mistakes," CSUEB coach Andy Cumbo said. "We started nine freshman and we have 19 on our roster - with only one senior. We definitely lack experience at this level."

But unlike the women, the men's side seemed to pick up its play in the Sunday, Sept. 12, match against No. 2 ranked Cal State Los Angeles.

East Bay's gritty play allowed them to stay scoreless for most of the match. It wasn't until the 60th minute when CSULA's Joe Davis put one past keeper Patrick Gilbertson for the 1-0 lead. Los Angeles added the second goal in the 83rd minute to put the game away.

"We showed improvement from Friday's match," Cumbo said. "We made fewer mistakes and created good goal-scoring opportunities again. Unfortunately, those mistakes put us under pressure and hurt us."

East Bay fell to 1-3-0 on the season, 0-2-0 in CCAA play. They next take the field on Friday, Sept. 17, in the first of a four-game roadie against Sonoma State just after the women play. Kickoff is 4 p.m.

And CSUEB cross country took part in the CSU Stanislaus Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 11. East Bay's men's side finished fourth out of the five-team tourney, while the women took third out of five. Both sides next run on Sept. 25 at the Westmont Invite in Santa Barbara.

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