Good Sports: Fresno Pacific University

FRESNO, Calif.

I had the chance to visit both the volleyball and men's soccer team to see what's different about these title runs than the championship teams of years past.

The Fresno Pacific volleyball team is looking to win a national title at next week's National Christian College Athletic Association tournament.

Led by senior setter Emily Carroll, this year's volleyball team is loaded with talent.

Some would say too much talent. But that's a problem head coach Kelly Winter is happy to have.

"Yeah it's a nice problem," Winter said. "It is a problem though you know. It's tough because you get through a night and you have a great player that sitting on the bench. And didn't get any time because you know you're starting six played so well. But it's really nice the next night when that team is a little bit tucked and you put somebody else in and they do just as great."

"This team is really special because last year you know we kind of had a lot of pressure on us," Carroll said. "We had like nine new players. Only one senior and we had a really young team and weren't just used to playing with each other and came out 11th at the NAIA Nationals. This year I think we're just we just really came at full speed right out of summer."

The Sunbirds have traditionally won championships as part of the NAIA. Now they're setting their sights on something bigger, the move up Division II collegiate sports.

FPU must first pass a two year probationary period which should end after the 2013 season.

The Sunbirds men's soccer team is also on a mission to bring home a title.

Coach of the Year Jaime Ramirez and West Regional Player of the Year Paul Islas lead a squad with the skills and desire to win it all in Kissimmee, Florida.

After losing three of their first four matches, Coach Ramirez felt compelled to challenge his players.

"We need to run the table," Ramirez said. "We need to run it when I say that I issued a challenge to the kids that every game is a playoff type game. And they responded with games, with victories with multiple goals."

"After that we started to gain a little momentum until halfway through our Hawaii trip, where we suffered another loss," Islas said. "From then on we kind of came together, started getting our team chemistry and went on a winning streak and made it all the way to the Western Regional final and won."

And win they did. And so too did the ladies at their regional final. Two teams each with one goal. Bring home another national title for Fresno Pacific.

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