Roadrunners look to build off success of indoor season


Alfred Ray

Senior Emily Lopes prepares to hit the volleyball during the 2017 season. Runner Archives

By Johnathan Wheatley
Assistant Sports Editor

CSU Bakersfield’s volleyball team traded its court shoes and indoor court for bare feet in the sand and a nice tan.

After a stellar indoor volleyball season in the Western Athletic Conference, the Roadrunners are looking to take the Big West Conference by storm on the beach.

CSUB went 19-14 overall and 9-5 in WAC play during its indoor season.

In the WAC tournament, CSUB swept Seattle University in the first round, 3-0.

In the semifinals, the Roadrunners stunned No. 1 New Mexico State University, 3-1.

In the final, CSUB took down the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley with a 3-1 victory.

It was CSUB’s second WAC tournament in four years.

The season ended for the Roadrunners in Palo Alto, California at the hands of the Stanford Cardinal in the first round of the NCAA tournament, 3-0.

CSUB looks to bring the same demeanor they used in the fall to spring.

“The same kind of attitude, the same kind of spirit, we want to bring that from the court to the sand,” said Head Coach Cesar

CSUB is on the road for the beginning of the season starting with four road games before returning home in March.

“We have a better schedule that puts us in a position that we can be more successful,” Benatti said. “In addition to that, the group we have is hard working group.”

It’s a different style of play for the volleyball team coming from the court to the sand.

“I’m used to hitting in indoor, and I have to pass a lot more in sand,” said graduate student Sydney Haynes.

Haynes played middle blocker for the Roadrunners during the indoor season.

Instead of six players at a time on the court, there are only two at a time in the sand. This forces both players to collectively do what a six-person team does.

CSUB has five seniors on the team that hope to make the best of the season.

“It’s definitely a blessing knowing it is the last time we get to do this for our team and our school,” said senior Emily Lopes.

CSUB opens the season Saturday, Feb. 24 at 10 a.m. at Loyola Marymount University.

The first home game for the Roadrunners is a doubleheader Saturday, March 10 with the first match beginning at 10 a.m. against Mira Costa College. The second match will take place at 2 p.m. against Vanguard University.

Homes matches are played at Barnes Beach Volleyball Complex, which is located behind the Student Recreation Center.