Coyotes need to learn to play with pressure

Shortly after her team was upset by host Cal Poly Pomona 3-0 (27-25, 26-24, 25-22) Wednesday at a raucous Darlene May Gymnasium, Cal State San Bernardino volleyball coach Kim Cherniss stood near the Coyotes bench talking about what went wrong.

The loss creates a log jam at the top of the CCAA standings. The Broncos and Coyotes are tied for first with Cal State Los Angeles and UC San Diego, neither of whom played Wednesday, a half game out.

Cherniss talked about how exhausting it is to play with the target on your back. As the perennial CCAA frontrunner and a team that is seemingly always ranked in the top five nationally, the Coyotes are always going to be the team others want to beat. It’s a win that can help build a program. It’s a win that brings recognition to programs that strive to be in that position.

So yes, when teams beat the Coyotes they’re going to celebrate a little more loudly than if it were some other opponent.

It’s up to the Coyotes to rise to the occasion so that doesn’t happen.

While the Broncos played a stellar match from start to finish, many of the errors the Coyotes made were unforced. It was disappointing from a team with so many veteran players.

Now the CCAA is a crapshoot and UC San Diego looms. The Broncos play the Tritons on Friday and the Coyotes get them Saturday at Coussoulis Arena. Good news for the Coyotes because they are unbeaten at home. San Diego is a bitter rival so the Coyotes should have no trouble getting up for that one.