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August 24, 2010 > Cal State East Bay readies for fall sports

Cal State East Bay readies for fall sports

By Kevin Yin

At least when you're starting from the bottom, there's no place to go but up.

Cal State University-East Bay's (CSUEB) athletic programs made the move from NCAA Division III to Division II last year, and the transition was expectedly rough, with the Pioneers' squads mostly struggling to keep pace in the elevated league.

Now, in CSUEB's second season of Division II play, the Pioneers must defy expectations in order to move out of the basement of the California Collegiate Athletic Association's (CCAA) standings. CSUEB competes in five fall sports: women's volleyball, men's and women's soccer, and men's and women's cross country.

The Pioneers' women's volleyball team was, by far, the most successful of CSUEB's fall sports teams last year. The Pioneers finished 2009 with a 10-21 overall record, including 8-14 in conference play. That 8-14 mark was good for eighth place in the CCAA (out of 12 teams), a mark made more impressive by the conference's overall strength-four CCAA teams finished 2009 ranked in the nation's Top-25.

In the 2010 preseason CCAA coaches' poll, CSUEB was picked to finish eighth in the conference again. The Pioneers will begin the season on Sept. 2 in Alaska against the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Both the men's and women's soccer teams finished last in the CCAA in 2009, and that's exactly where both squads are predicted to finish 2010. The men's team posted a 1-19 overall record in 2009, including 0-16 in CCAA play. The 2010 CCAA coaches' preseason poll has the Pioneers again finishing at the bottom of the conference's six-team South Division.

The women's soccer team fared slightly better than the men's squad last year, finishing 3-13-3 overall, including a 2-11-2 mark in conference play. Those extra couple of wins haven't inspired much additional confidence, as the women's squad is also slated to finish last in the South Division by the CCAA coaches' preseason poll.

Both the men's and women's soccer teams' regular season begin on Sept. 2, as CSUEB squads travels to Oahu, Hawaii, to face Hawaii Pacific University.

CSUEB's men's and women's cross country teams finished seventh and ninth respectively at the 2009 CCAA Championships. Both squads will begin their seasons on Sept. 4 at the Notre Dame de Namur Invitational in Milbrae.

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