CSUEB Women’s Volleyball Qualify for CCAA Playoffs

Shubham Sharma, Sports Editor

On Aug. 5, the California State University, East Bay’s Women’s Volleyball team played their final match against California State Polytechnic University, Humboldt. Pioneers went into this game confident, aware that they already qualified for the CCAA playoffs. Cal Poly Humboldt has had an unfortunate 2022 CCAA season, as they have only been able to register one victory out of 17 games this season. Heading into the game, the two teams had very different goals; while the former, CSUEB, was looking to continue their good form into the CCAA playoffs, the latter was playing to salvage their pride.

The first period of the game was intense, with both teams fighting neck-and-neck for each point. The Pioneers then took a four-point lead when they went 4-8 ahead of HSU. After achieving 12 points, the Pioneers started to slack and gave away four easy points to HSU which flipped the narrative, and put them ahead at a score of 16-12. HSU then continued the momentum and was able to clinch the first set of the game with a score of 22-25. 

Pioneers started the second period ambitious by taking a 6-point lead at the score of  6-12. The Pioneers continued to gain points at a steady pace. Once the score reached 15-21, in favor of the Pioneers, it looked as though they had the second set in the bag. Suddenly, HSU had a burst of energy and the team clawed their way back into the match by winning four consecutive points for a score of 19-21. 

CSUEB outside hitter Alyssa Zaragoza then won the next point for the Pioneers extending the lead to 19-22. Finally, HSU rose to the occasion and fought back with three consecutive points to level the score at a riveting 22-22. CSUEB middle blocker Mia Jordan was able to push the Pioneers ahead again by earning them a vital point, but resilient women of HSU fought back brilliantly to win three consecutive points and claim the second set.

The Pioneers had a huge task on their hand; In order to secure a match win, they needed to win all the remaining sets. HSU on the other hand had an unassailable two-set advantage and looked as though they would win the second match of their season. The Pioneers made a strong comeback into the game by winning the third set of the match with a score of 17-25. 

The Pioneers then aimed to maintain the momentum and played out a spectacular fourth set, in which they never trailed to HSU, and ultimately secured a win with a score of 21-25. HSU appeared a bit jittery and drained in the fifth and final set. Visually exhausted, it was clear that the team did not put up a fight in the ultimate set and handed CSUEB an easy win.

The Pioneers finished the regular season with a surprising win and demonstrated a true fighting spirit. The spotlight players for the Pioneers were opposite hitters Kara Green, Lexi Pegani and middle blocker Karis Carter with an astounding 19 kills each. Additionally, defensive specialist Taylor Miche made her career high of 25 digs and led the Pioneers to a season-ending victory. Next up, playoffs!