RIVERSIDE, Calif. --- The accolades keep piling up for California Baptist University student athletes, as two Lancers just swept The Press-Enterprise Men's and Women's Athlete of the Year Awards.
Emma Holden was named the publication's female Athlete of the Year after just recently winning the online poll for the PE's Performer of the Year and Levi Cabral was named the male Athlete of the Year. Both players were named NAIA Players of the Year this season as well, with Cabral earning AVCA/NAIA Men's Volleyball National Player of the Year honors and Holden being named NAIA Softball Pitcher of the Year.
Holden led the top-ranked Lancers all the way to the NAIA title game as CBU finished the season 66-5. CBU's junior ace was 35-2 on the season with an NAIA best 0.59 ERA. She set the program's single season record for strikeouts with 351 on the year and became the Lancers' career strikeout leader with 707 K's in just three years in the circle thus far. She was named GSAC Pitcher of the Year for the second straight season to go along with her first career national Pitcher of the Year award. Holden was at her best at the NAIA National Tournament, going 5-1 with a 0.17 ERA and striking out 60 in 42 innings.
Cabral took huge strides as a team leader on a Lancer squad that won its second consecutive NAIA Championship this season. The junior from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil led CBU with 414 kills and 50 service aces, notching 3.91 kills per set and a .378 attack percentage. Cabral helped lead CBU not only to the NAIA title, but to wins over NCAA Division I powers such as UC Irvine, Stanford and UC Santa Barbara (the 2009 and 2010 NCAA champions and the 2011 NCAA runners-up). Cabral was also named tournament MVP at the NAIA Invitational for the first time in his career.
Both players' coaches and teammates pointed to each athlete's development as complete players for the individual and team success the already accomplished juniors experienced this season.