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September 28, 2010 > East Bay sports finish up road trips

East Bay sports finish up road trips

By Giovanni Albanese Jr.

After a nonexistent week of athletics for the Cal State University-East Bay sports programs, play picked up over the weekend -- Friday, Sept. 24 through Sunday, Sept. 26 -- with men's and women's soccer, as well as the women's volleyball team finishing up road trips.

Cal State's Lady Pioneers volleyball club raced out to an 8-0 start to its season, but entering weekend play, they were on a two-game slide. On Friday, Sept. 24, they tried to end that losing streak when they went to Turlock to take on Cal State Stanislaus.

Unfortunately for the Lady Pioneers, it wasn't their day again, dropping its third straight California Collegiate Athletic Association match, this one in straight sets -- 25-14, 25-18, 25-18.

But just a day later, on Saturday, Sept. 25, East Bay returned to the form that had them once ranked No. 24 in the country (week 2), going to Chico State and putting away the Lady Wildcats in four sets -- 16-25, 25-22, 25-18, 25-22.

Sukhjit Athwal and Katie Allen led the team in kills with 13 apiece; Brianna Bryant had eight blocks to lead East Bay; and K.C. Walsh led the Lady Pioneers with 38 assists as her team improved to 9-3, ending a three-game losing streak and going above .500 in CCAA play at 4-3.

East Bay soccer went to San Francisco to take on San Francisco State on Friday, Sept. 24, and neither team had success.

For the women, they allowed two, second-half goals as the Lady Gators dropped the Lady Pioneers 2-0. East Bay fell to 4-3-1 on the season, 2-3 in CCAA.

SFSU scored just two minutes into the second half after East Bay shut down the Gators for the first 45 minutes. Nicole Vanni took a cross from Michelle Kay and put it past Donna Williams for the 1-0 lead.

East Bay settled down, but it was the Gators again getting on the scoreboard when play picked up nearly a half hour later. Michelle Spinner notched SFSU's second goal, assisted by Vanni and Kara Cunningham to put the game away in the 78th minute.

"I was happy with our play in the first half, it was an even game - both teams had opportunities to score," Pioneers coach Amy Gerace said. "Unfortunately, the same team didn't come out in the second half."

As for the men, it was the same result, but they suffered their loss in a more demoralizing way -- allowing a goal to break a scoreless match in the 90th minute to give the Gators a 1-0 win.

"Overall we defended well and absorbed a lot of their attack," said East Bay coach Andy Cumbo. "We lost an individual battle late in the game and dropped three points. It was a brutal way to lose."

Charles Conway was the lone goal scorer, heading home a throw-in pass from Malcolm Linton to improve SFSU to 3-3-1, 1-3-1 in CCAA, while dropping East Bay to 2-6, 1-4 in CCAA. On the day, East Bay only took one shot, while the Gators peppered the Pioneer goal with 25 shots, only five that hit the target, though.

And on Sunday, Sept. 26, both soccer clubs were back at it, traveling west to take on Cal State Monterey Bay. While the women weren't able to break out of its slump, falling 2-1, the men were able to play to a 2-2 draw.

For the men, Alexis Romo put the club up early, scoring a goal in the first minute -- just 33 seconds in. But Monterey Bay bounced back from the early deficit and would eventually take a 2-1 lead with goals from Tyler Dapello and Forrest Alvarez.

East Bay was able to bounce back from the half-time hole and tie the match in the 62nd minute when Brett Souza. It would end in the 2-2 score, with 13 yellow cards and four red cards dished out in the physical match. East Bay went to 2-6-1, 1-4-1 in CCAA, on the season.

East Bay's women soccer, on the other hand, despite out-shooting Monterey Bay, dropped to 4-4-1, 2-4 in CCAA, on the season after its loss to Monterey Bay.

Kara Yamamoto put the Lady Pioneers up 1-0 with a 15th minute unassisted tally. But CSUMB evened the match in the 27th minute when Natalie Argueta put a shot inside the post to the far side after running onto a through ball from Gabrielle Bozzo. And Monterey Bay put it away with a goal in the 87th minute when Andrea Davis hit a shot past Williams for the game winner.

East Bay's sports begin home stands this week. Jim Spagle's volleyball team will begin a four-game home stand on Friday, Oct. 1, taking on Cal State Dominguez Hills. And in soccer, both the men and women soccer programs host Cal Poly Pomona on Friday, Oct. 1. Women kickoff at 4:30 p.m. with the men following at 7.

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