Courtesy: CBU
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Mission Possible
Courtesy: CBU  
Release: 01/30/2013
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RIVERSIDE - Two of the Inland Empire's most storied intercollegiate athletics programs, California Baptist University and UC Riverside, have forged a partnership that will see the two universities compete for the Riverside Mission Cup beginning with the 2013-14 academic year.

Each year, the Lancers and Highlanders will compete in 11 different sports-men's and women's golf, men's and women's cross country, men's and women's soccer, men's and women's basketball, baseball, softball and volleyball.

Competitions will be held during the exhibition season, regular season or off-season, and the Riverside Mission Cup Champion will declared by the two departments.

"California Baptist University athletics is excited to participate in the Riverside Mission Cup," said CBU Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Dr. Micah Parker. "This is a very unique relationship and fun for our athletes to challenge themselves against Division I competition, especially a neighbor in UC Riverside.

"Brian and I have the same goal in promoting collegiate athletics in Riverside so anytime we can play a game, exhibition, or scrimmage we've agreed to do so. I appreciate UCR's willingness to compete with us in what should only benefit both universities."

UC Riverside is now accepting title sponsorship inquiries from local businesses with all proceeds going towards scholarships for the two programs. Any interested businesses or organization may contact Assistant Athletics Director/Marketing & Corporate Partnerships Jason List at 951-817-5030 or for additional information.

"When Chancellor White hired me back in 2011, one of my priorities was to increase the engagement of the Riverside community with UC Riverside," said UC Riverside Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Brian Wickstrom. "I believe building a stronger relationship with Cal Baptist and increasing the fan interest in our sports will have an immediate impact on both of our programs. I have enjoyed getting to know Dr. Parker, and I am excited about the future competition between our two institutions."

California Baptist University is a member of the NCAA at the Division II level. CBU competes in the Pacific West Conference in most sports and in 2012-13 joined the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) for men's volleyball.

In its first season in the PacWest (2011-12), the Lancers won a conference-record six conference championships en route to winning the PacWest Commissioner's Cup, awarded to the top athletics program each year. Additionally, the Lancers have already won two PacWest titles in the fall of 2012.

On July 12, 2010, California Baptist University was accepted to the NCAA Division II transition process. During the transition process the university's athletic teams are ineligible for NCAA postseason competition. If successful, CBU will receive full membership into the NCAA during the 2013-14 academic year.

The university previously competed in the NAIA's Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC). CBU had been a member of the NAIA since 1969 and has won 28 GSAC championships and 22 NAIA National Championships.

UC Riverside is a member of the NCAA at the Division I level, and the Big West Conference. The Highlanders transitioned to Division I prior to the 2001-02 season following four decades as member of NCAA Division II. UCR has three national volleyball championships (1977, 82, 86) and two national baseball titles (1977, 82) to its credit.

Since making the transition to Division I, the Highlanders have had teams or individuals advance to NCAA postseason play in baseball, women's basketball, men's and women's cross country, men's golf, women's soccer and men's and women's track & field.


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