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September 17, 2010 > CSUEB volleyball nationally recognized

CSUEB volleyball nationally recognized

By Giovanni Albanese Jr.

Photo courtesy of Ron Allen

Cal State University-East Bay's athletics program made the move to Division II a year ago. While many teams are continuing to struggle in the transition, the Lady Pioneers volleyball team is thriving in the second season at DII.

East Bay has raced out to a 7-0 record and has been nationally recognized. American Volleyball Coaches Association, a national collegiate division II poll, has rewarded East Bay for their fast start, ranking them No. 24 in the latest poll which came out on Monday, Sept. 13. CSUEB was previously unranked.

While the Lady Pioneers have not gone through the most difficult teams to garner its unblemished record through two weeks, they still came away with victories.

One player who has helped East Bay to its perfect record is Roxanne Neely. And like her club, Neely was recognized by an organization for her stellar play. Leading her club to three wins a week ago - two league contests - Neely was named the California Collegiate Athletic Association Player of the Week, the first time the honor has been given to a CSUEB volleyball player.

Against league foes Sonoma State and Humboldt State, Neely, a senior setter and outside hitter, recorded 17 kills, 13 digs and 42 assists.

Neely and the East Bay volleyballers continued their winning ways, proving that they are worthy of the No. 24 national spot. On Wednesday, Sept. 15, the Pioneers went down to La Jolla and defeated No. 11 ranked UC San Diego.

It took five sets - 27-25, 25-22, 19-25, 22-25 and 15-13 - but the Pioneers were able to up its CCAA record to 3-0 while improving to 8-0 on the young season.

"It was a great team effort that challenged every inch of kid in our program," said East Bay coach Jim Spagle.

Neely had 11 kills and 19 digs in the winning effort; Lauren Massa had 34 digs; and K.C. Walsh, in her first action, recorded 42 assists and 15 digs.

East Bay continues its current five-game road trip this weekend. On Friday, Sept. 17, they head to San Francisco State; Saturday, Sept. 18, at Cal State Monterey Bay. First serve for both matches is 7 p.m.

"We need to focus hard on two excellent teams on Friday and Saturday," Spagle said.

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