Volleyball advances to NCAA West Regional



Senior Kathy McKiernan jumps in the air as she records a kill for the Pioneers.

By Marissa Marshall, SPORTS EDITOR

Despite losing in the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) tournament semifinals to Cal Poly Pomona (23-5 overall, 14-3 CCAA), the California State University, East Bay’s Volleyball team will be advancing to the NCAA Division II West Regional Tournament. This will be the programs first time in the NCAA tournament.
Ahead of their defeat in the semi finals, on Thursday, Nov. 8 the Pioneers faced off against CSU San Marcos (13-13, 9-8 CCAA) in the first round of the CCAA tournament where they came out victorious in a 3-1 win.
Senior middle blocker Kathy McKiernan lead the way with 17 kills and five blocks, and senior All-CCAA setter Katie Ireland set a season high for assists with 52. Each set between the two teams was extremely close and could have easily gone either way but the Pioneers managed to keep their composure and were able to override the Cougars as they moved on to the semifinals of the tournament.
The Pioneers went head to head against No.17 ranked Cal Poly Pomona on Friday, Nov. 9 in a disappointing loss for the hopeful team. The Pioneers fell 3-0 and were sent home with faces filled with disappointment.
Senior middle blocker Deja Thompson contributed 10 kills in the match which contrasts with her usual numbers which usually excel into a range of 10 to 19. Ireland only had 21 assists which is significantly lower than the 52 assists she had in the previous matchup against Pomona. The stats prove that the Pioneers low production further explains the reason for their loss.
It was estimated that the Pioneers had a slim chance of being announced as one of the eight-teams in the NCAA Division II West Regional tournament. However, East Bay’s name was called in the team pairing which led to a continuation of their season.
The Pioneers will face off against No.1 ranked Western Washington (25-3 overall, 22-1 regional) on Thursday, Nov.15 in the first round of the tournament.
This will be an extremely challenging matchup for CSUEB as they attempt to carry past the first round of the tournament. Their six super-star seniors will have to play their absolute best in order to potentially reach a victory.
Either way, this has been an extremely progressive season for the team and they should be proud of what they have managed to accomplish throughout the season.