Biola’s athletics teams enjoyed a strong fall season in their final year of membership in the NAIA and the Golden State Athletic Conference, finishing strong enough to close out the calendar year ranked fourth in the nation in the Learfield Directors’ Cup standings. Several of the fall sports teams — soccer, cross country and volleyball — spent a significant amount of time ranked inside of their NAIA Top-25 Coaches’ Polls on their way to postseason competition. The strong season gives the teams momentum heading into next year, when the Eagles will compete in the PacWest Conference and begin their transition into the NCAA Division II.
In one of the strongest seasons in the history of women’s soccer, this year’s team set the program record for least amount of goals allowed in a season, the most shutouts and the most wins at home. The team finished undefeated in the regular season (14–0–2), before losing in the first round of the NAIA tournament in November, ending their season with a 15–2–2 record overall.
Seniors Jessie Burns, McKenna Marmelstein, Taylor Venegas, Kayla White and Mariah Ziermer ended their college careers as the most decorated players the program has seen to date, and are distinguished as the only graduating class to reach the NAIA National Tournament in their final two seasons. Burns further holds the rank of CoSIDA Academic All-American, while sophomore Madyson Brown earned NAIA All-American status for the second time this year, and junior Cat Newberry earned her first All-American honorable mention.
After a well-fought season, men’s soccer lost in a heartbreaking match against Vanguard University in the first round of the GSAC tournament in November. After a tied-up game, the Eagles lost in the shootout against the Lions, ending their season with a 10–6–1 record. This season was the last for Leonardo Contreras, who earned NAIA All-American status for the second time. The season also brought a CoSIDA Academic All-American honor for junior Keaton Kerr.
The women’s cross country team continued to dominate the GSAC this season — running to their second-straight team championship (and fifth overall), an individual title for Lyndee Dawson and six All-GSAC honors. The Eagles went on to finish in third place in the NAIA cross country championship for the second year in a row, with sophomore Emily Ransom and Dawson earning All-American honors. The men’s cross country team also enjoyed success in the GSAC Championship meet, with three All-GSAC honors and a third place overall finish.
The women’s volleyball team made it to the NAIA National Championship tournament for the 16th time in program history in December, eventually losing to the No. 3 seed, but finishing their season with a 26–11 record. The Eagles finished in second place in the GSAC conference this season with a 13–3 conference record, and standout junior captain Tess Van Grouw was awarded her first NAIA All-American honorable mention. Van Grouw also set a new team record for digs in a season.