A season's worth of hard work paid off for the Bakersfield College men's soccer and wrestling teams this past week as both took home conference titles.
Yet with postseason regional and state competitions on the way, fall sports still aren't quite over. This past week, even as basketball teams at BC and Cal State Bakersfield kicked their seasons into gear, there were still squads like BC volleyball angling for postseason positioning.
Football: They didn't know this at the time, but the other games in their conference played out exactly how the Renegades needed in order for BC to claim the league championship with a win and make the playoffs. Instead, the Renegades failed to score for three quarters, and a combination of penalties and poor execution sabotaged a trio of late opportunities with BC trailing 13-7. Allan Hancock beat BC, and Ventura, which BC beat soundly in October, got the playoff bid instead.
Men's basketball: After dropping their opener to Santa Barbara on a pair of missed free throws late (though other missed free throws earlier certainly didn't help), the Renegades evened their season out by beating Oxnard by 2 on the road Nov. 9. However, a rally at home against Reedley Saturday fell short when BC was unable to score a field goal in the final 3:34, and the Tigers escaped with a 75-71 victory to drop the Renegades to 1-2 entering Wednesday night's matchup at Moorpark.
Men's soccer: How did BC make it to Wednesday's playoff tilt with San Bernardino Valley? It involved a pair of penalty kicks at either end of the first half against Antelope Valley Friday, then a classy volley from Anthony Miron to give the Renegades the lead after the break, then an insurance goal by Andrew Carrasco that was just enough to offset Casey Ramirez's last-minute header. The Renegades took home a conference title for the third straight season with that 3-2 victory.
Volleyball: The Renegades quietly won nine of 10 games to close their conference schedule, culminating in a 3-2 thriller on the road at West LA Friday in which Alexandra Johnson had 17 kills and 31 digs. However, BC's playoff positioning took a hit after the Western State Conference crossover match Tuesday, a 3-1 loss at Moorpark. BC sits at No. 18 in the Ratings Power Index for Southern California, which last year was good enough for the final seed in the playoff bracket. (Back then, BC was the top seed.) If the trend holds true, the Renegades would travel to Whittier to face No. 15 Rio Hondo Saturday.
Women's basketball: As a matter of course, BC experienced some growing pains playing three games at the Riverside Tournament late last week and took three double-digit losses. The Renegades are just 73rd in the state in points per game out of 87 teams, even with Elise Enriquez averaging 15. BC did pick up its second win of the year by taking down Taft 62-42 Tuesday to improve to 2-4, with a home game against Cypress coming up Friday.
Women's soccer: It looked dicey early, but with West LA playing with 10 women for most of the game, BC broke through repeatedly in the second half, with Camila Moncada scoring a brace as the Renegades sealed their own playoff spot by knocking off the Wildcats 4-0, setting up their date with Santa Monica (for a third time) Wednesday.
Wrestling: The strong season continued with a league championship Friday as BC outpaced its five Southeast Conference opponents, claiming first place at 133 (Derrek Alcantar), 174 (Luke Combs) and 285 (Corbin Hayes) along the way. The Renegades are looking formidable with state competition approaching, but first played their lone home dual of the season against Fresno Wednesday night.
Miscellaneous and looking ahead: Cross-country will compete in the state championships at Woodward Park Saturday ... The women's golf team made it to the state championships in Morro Bay and finished last of eight teams, with Maci Mills recording BC's best score.
Cal State Bakersfield
Men's basketball: The Roadrunners faced a steep degree-of-difficulty increase traveling to Utah Friday and fell to the Utes 72-44 despite solid offensive showings from Antavion Collum and Kaleb Higgins. That dropped CSUB to 1-1 heading into its road date with Idaho, a team it narrowly beat last season on a Higgins free throw, Wednesday night.
Volleyball: A busy week of road rematches started strong for CSUB with a 3-1 victory over UC Riverside last Thursday, led by 19 kills from the ever-reliable Hayley McCluskey and a surprise 12 by freshman Naomi Chankoumi. However, the Roadrunners faltered two days later against UC Davis, a team they had swept earlier in the year, and took a 3-0 loss of their own. It wasn't a surprise at all, though, to see CSUB in another long and grueling match against Cal Poly Tuesday, after the two teams battled for five sets in the Icardo Center a month ago. This time, the Mustangs took it in four to drop CSUB to 7-22, even though surging middle blocker Emma Erteltova set a single-match blocks record for the Roadrunners with 11. It doesn't get any easier as they visit Hawaii Sunday.
Women's basketball: Last year, CSUB went nearly three months without a win after its season opener; these Roadrunners needed just three days. What's more, they knocked off rival Fresno State at the Save Mart Center, holding on for a 56-53 victory even though the Bulldogs had three relatively open shots from deep on their final possession. CSUB scored half its total in a 28-11 third quarter, including four 3-pointers from Shaunae Brown, as Hennie van Schaik led the way with 17 points overall. The Roadrunners will take on a strong UNLV squad Sunday.
Miscellaneous and looking ahead: As Nov. 9 was National Letter of Intent signing day, several CSUB programs officially announced new recruits, including beach volleyball (Ella Ensign, Kaia Fanshier, Vivi Kaelin and Olivia Silacci-Jensen), men's soccer (Alec Aceves, Ben Erwin and Pedro Monge-Munoz), women's basketball (Amourie Porter) and women's soccer (Selena Hernandez) ... Wrestling is hosting its biggest home event of the year in the Roadrunner Open Sunday.