No. 9 - Men's Water Polo Beats Dartmouth 18-5 In First-Ever Athletic Event At The Lancer Aquatics Center
On Sept. 9, 1999, California Baptist University made history with its first-ever athletic event in the newly-constructed, state-of-the-art $1.8 million Lancers Aquatic Center when CBU defeated Dartmouth 18-5 before a packed crowd.
In that game, Andre Pedroni scored the first-ever goal in CBU history and finished with eight goals as nine different Lancers scored at least once. Seth Gentry scored three times. Adam Sherwood made three saves in the cage. CBU jumped out to an 8-1 halftime lead and never looked back in getting the first victory in program history.
“I have fond memories of that day,” said CBU Head Coach Rick Rowland, the architect of CBU Aquatics. “The place was packed, and I remember there were so many staff members out there. Not many people there knew anything about water polo, which added to the excitement of the day. The guys played well and really got the program going in the right direction.”
While the win was just the first in a long line of 319 victories since, the importance of that game goes well beyond the final score. It signaled the start of a new era of aquatics dominance at CBU. Since that September day in 1999, the Lancers’ men’s and women’s water polo and men’s and women’s swimming and diving created an expectation of excellence, setting the bar higher and higher each year.
In the 14 seasons since its inception, CBU men’s and women’s water polo have combined to post a 624-349 (.641) record with 20 20-win seasons between them all while consistently appearing in the CWPA Top 20 poll year in and year out. The Lancer men have gone 319-157 with 10 20-win seasons while the women are 305-192 in that same span with 10 20-win seasons and never experiencing a season under .500.
Meanwhile, the Lancers’ swimming and diving program molded into one of the best ever in the NAIA, combining for nine NAIA National Championships (four men, five women) and 23 top two finishes at the NAIA Championships. In fact, the men’s program never finished worse than second in 12 NAIA Championships, while the women finished second in 11 of 12 championships with one third place finish.
From 2005-09, CBU won at least one NAIA Swimming and Diving Championship and from 2006-08, the Lancers swept the men’s and women’s titles at the same meet.
Just 22 days after their first-ever match, CBU defeated nationally-ranked Air Force (5-4) and UC Davis (9-8 ot) just two hours apart and eventually cracked the Top 20 for the first time in program history at No. 16 later that week. They finished the season 25-9, the first of four straight 20-win seasons.
CBU and the transition to the NCAA series timeline
June 14 – Introduction to the series
June 18 – Moment No. 9 - 1999 Men's Water Polo
June 19 – Moment No. 8
June 20 – Moment No. 7
June 21 – Moment No. 6
June 24 – Moment No. 5
June 25 – Moment No. 4
June 26 – Moment No. 3
June 27 – Moment No. 2
June 28 – Moment No. 1
July 1 – A comprehensive look back at more than 45 years with the NAIA
July 8 – A look back at the last three years of transition to the NCAA