Pioneer Profile: Farewell to All–Conference Senior

Photo courtesy of Ron Allen

Amanda Zepeda

In the last year with the Pioneers, it was senior libero Lauren Massa who helped lead the Pioneers volleyball squad to a successful season

The Pioneers finished second place in the CCAA Division II Conference, with an overall record of 20-7—a significant improvement from last year’s overall record of 10-21.

“It was a really good year,” said Massa. “A lot of our opponents last year would say we didn’t belong in the CCAA Division II. This year, we wanted to show them how good we were and we wanted to prove that we belong here.”

The Pioneers successfully showed their critics they are a force to be reckoned with, as they went on to defeat every team in the conference at least once.

In statistically one of her best seasons, Lauren Massa was ranked first all year for digs, falling to second by just .1 in the last game of the season.

She received the honor of being selected to the CCAA second team, along with teammate Jit Athwal and teammate Roxanne Neely, who was selected to first team. CSUEB Volleyball coach Jim Spagle was selected CCAA coach of the year.

In the opinion of her teammates and her coach, it comes to no surprise that libero Lauren Massa received such an honor. Her leadership was evident in every game and her experience led the team to a season that the entire campus of CSUEB can be proud of.

“Lauren has really been one of the strengths of our team this year,” said Coach Spagle. “It will be really tough to see her leave.”

Massa has gained the respect of her coaching staff, her teammates and the entire student body at CSU East Bay, which will truly miss such a prominent athlete.

“I have mixed emotions about being done with volleyball,” said Massa. “Over the past four years, I have spent the majority of my time in the university gym competing in games and practicing. It’s crazy to think that I won’t be playing in there anymore. I know, however, that there are other things in my life that I am ready to take on.”

Massa will be graduating in the spring of 2011 as a health science major. She plans to take a year off to prepare herself for PA school to become a physician’s assistant. Currently, she coaches for a Bay Area club team, passing on her unique skills in volleyball.

The Pioneers finished of a stellar season with a win against Cal Poly Pomona on Nov. 13 and to Massa, this victory was of special significance.

“I was really sad at the end of our last game, knowing I wasn’t going to play at a competitive level again,” said Massa. “However, I’m glad that all the seniors got the chance to go out on a good note.”

From here, the journey takes Lauren Massa back home to Loveland, Colorado, where she looks forward to obtaining a graduate degree and getting a job.

She leaves behind a university she admires and a volleyball team that she has nothing but high hopes for in the future.

Her advice for future and current CSUEB volleyball players is to dream big and to stick with it.

“I am extremely proud of this team and how they came together to be successful this year,” said Massa. “I loved every minute of this season, and I had a great time.”