Broncos win volleyball quarter

By Michelle Gardner

Staff Writer

SAN BERNARDINO – The top team in the Great Northwest Athletic
Conference was no match for Cal Poly Pomona.

The third-seeded Broncos advanced to the semifinals of the Division
II West Regional with a convincing 3-0 (25-19, 25-12, 25-20) win over
fifth-seeded Western Oregon Thursday afternoon at Coussoulis Arena.
It is the 15th playoff appearance for the Broncos but the first win
in the postseason since 1997.

Next up for Cal Poly (19-7) is tonight’s 5 p.m. semifinal against Cal
State Los Angeles which upset second-seeded UC San Diego 3-2 (24-26,
25-19, 26-24, 25-23, 15-13).

“You go back to CCAA play and we have had a lot of battles where we
had to come through and show a fighting spirit,” Broncos coach Rosie
Wegrich said. “That is something this team has shown this year and
it showed again today. The conference really helped prepare us for
this.”

The Broncos posted a .237 hitting percentage while limiting the
Wolves to a .052, including a minus-0.28 in the second game. They
tallied 10 team blocks – one solo and 18 assisted.

Counterpart Brad Saindon of Western Oregon (22-3) was impressed.

“We didn’t play well and they played very well. That isn’t a good
combination for us.” he said. “I was impressed with their
blocking. They’re physical and very imposing. We had 23 hitting
errors and that was uncharacteristic for us. But that was due to what
they did at the net.”

Cal Poly, ranked 18th nationally, led from the first serve. It led by
as many as seven in the opening game at 19-12. It got a set point on
a kill by Vanessa Williams and wrapped it up seconds later when
6-foot-3 Wolves standout tipped a ball in the net.

But it was a 10-point run in the second game that gave the Broncos a
lead that was never challenged. The Wolves, ranked 20th nationally,
were still in striking distance at 11-8 when Rafaela Rosa went to the
service line for nine straight points, three coming on winners by
Willams.

The Broncos converted their first set point of the game on a tip by
Jenna Young.

Despite the big lead, the Broncos never felt they were in the clear.

“In volleyball the momentum can change so quickly,” Young said.
“You never know when something crazy is going to happen. But we felt
good about the way we were playing.”

The third game stayed tighter longer. It was even 10 times, the last
at 14-all. Young unleashed a service ace that gave the Broncos a
23-18 lead. They wrapped it up a few minutes later on another Western
Oregon hitting error.

The offensive attack was balanced with Young and Anne-Marie Hofmans
each putting down 11 kills, with five of Young’s coming in the third
game. Williams contributed eight but managed a team-high five block
assists. Setter Jasmine Davis tallied 34 assists and Rosa led in digs
with 15.

The Wolves were led by Bennett with 12 kills but she needed 34
attacks and only managed a percentage of .088.

This will be the third meeting between Pomona and Cal State Los
Angeles. The two split during the regular season wit each team wining
at home.