All-American Mia Carbajal signs with Cal Baptist

Mia Carbajal signs with Cal Baptist
Mia Carbajal signs with Cal Baptist

Poised to return to Cerritos College for her sophomore season as a member of the Cerritos College women's water polo and swimming teams, Mia Carbajal (Schurr HS) has decided to sign with Cal Baptist University, where she will have three years of eligibility. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, subsequently causing the end to the water polo season for 2020, it kept the returning All-American water polo player out of the pool. She will be earning her AA Degree in Kinesiology this spring and when the opportunity to transfer presented itself, Carbajal couldn't turn down the opportunity.

"I ultimately decided to transfer because I will be done with my AA in the spring," stated Carbajal. "This was an extremely tough decision to make because last season was amazing and I was so excited for this season. So leaving makes me really sad but I knew it was my time to go. I was very devastated (at the cancelation of the season). It was hard to believe that last season would be my last season as a Falcon and I didn't even know it. I was very bummed because I recruited some of my club teammates that I have played with since we were 12U and we all went to high school together. Five of them joined the team this year so we were really excited to play together again because the last time we all played together we won the CIF DII Southern Regional Championship and were determined to win another ring this season. So to not be able to play with them when this season was cancelled was very tough."

Mia Carbajal playing for the Falcons As a freshman on the water polo team, Carbajal led the team in goals (96), steals (71) and ejections drawn (70), while becoming the 10th All-American selection under head coach Sergio Macias. She was also a 1st Team All-Southern California and 1st Team All-South Coast Conference pick. During the 2020 Falcon swimming season, which ended in the middle of March, Carbajal was making a run for the State Championships in the breaststroke, which was her speciality. She was looking to match the accomplishment of her sister, Mehgan, who was an All-American swimmer in the breaststroke as a sophomore in 2011.

Macias stated he'll feel the loss of Carbajal when water polo returns. "Mia was the team's nucleus, and with her leadership ability, she was able get the team on board with early goals in games all season," commented Macias. "She led by example and her style of play was a great reflection of our team play. She gave 100% effort and played with passion. Mia was the type of player that was involved in almost every play on both offense and defense. She frustrated a lot of opponents due to her overly aggressively play. She quickly realized that she can make up for her lack of size by out-hustling the opponent. Her confidence kept continuing to grow as the season progressed and the games got tougher. Even though the opposing teams knew of her scoring ability, they were still unable to shut her down."

On three occasions during  season where she would finish with the fifth most goals scored in a season in school history, Carbajal scored seven goals in a game, and other than the first game of the season, scored in every match. She had four or more goals in 10 games, while she posted a season-high five steals in both games against Mt. San Antonio College. In her final game for Cerritos, Carbajal drew a season-high nine ejections in a Southern California Regional Playoff game against Riverside City College.

Although her Falcon career was limited, it made an impact on Carbajal.

"I loved all my classes and my professors," said Carbajal. "Sadly, I was only able to spend one semester at Cerritos on campus due to the coronavirus. As an athlete, it was very fun and exciting. I had the best coach ever! I have memories with this team that I will remember forever. I absolutely loved being at Cerritos. I'll definitely miss the overnight tournaments! Traveling with my team was always very fun. Hanging out with my team in the cafeteria after practice and in-between classes was always fun too. The bus rides were always entertaining."

Mia Carbajal signs with Cal Baptist Carbajal will be joining a Lancer team that went 13-4 in 2020, which included a seven-game winning streak, before their season came to an end. The NCAA Divsion I school is a member of the Golden Coast Conference. As of now, they are slated to begin their 2021 season on February 5 with a weekend two-game series against UC Irvine.

The opportunity to play at a higher level is motivating for Carbajal, who will focus solely on water polo. She'll also focus her energies in earning a degree in Kinesiology and is interested in sports medicine, athletic training and sports psychology.

"When I visited the campus, I automatically fell in love with the university," added Carbajal. "They have really good classes and programs for my major (Kinesiology) and they are a Division I water polo program. It had everything I wanted."

Macias feels that the addition of Carbajal to the Cal Baptist lineup will pay immediate rewards. "The moment Cal Baptist sees Mia do some amazing things in the water, and when she hops out of the pool, her teammates will look at her size and say, 'how did that little thing pull that off'? Mia will definitely increase the level of intensity with her approach to practice and games and I wouldn't be surprised if she becomes a team favorite since she is such an awesome teammate."