Coyotes cruise to quarterfinal win

SAN BERNARDINO – Not only did the No. 2 Cal State San Bernardino
volleyball team take care of business – it did so quickly.

The Coyotes opened play in the Division II West Regional at
Coussoulis Arena with an impressive 3-0 (25-14, 25-15, 25-12)
thumping of Pacific West Conference champion Brigham Young-Hawaii
Thursday night. The match took a little more than an hour.

The win sends the Coyotes (26-3) into tonight’s 7:30 semifinal
against Chico State (21-10), a 3-0 winner over Sonoma State. The 5
p.m. semifinal will pit Cal Poly Pomona against Cal State Los Angeles.

The Coyotes hit .506 for the match which could have been higher had
coach Kim Cherniss not used primarily reserves in the second half of
the third game. Cal State hit .625 in the opening game and was at
.600 in the through two games.

Perhaps the highest praise came from Seasiders coach Wilfred Navatla.

“I don’t know if we had played our best volleyball if we would have
beaten them,” he said. “They do everything well. Our strength is
our serving and our backcourt defense but that really didn’t show
because of how well they played.”

Setter Sara Hoffman spread the wealth around. Sara Rice had a
team-high 12 kills, one more than Jessica Granados. Jane Chafeh had
nine with no hitting errors for a .750 percentage.

The Coyotes aren’t worried that having such an easy match will take
an edge off their game heading into what will likely be tougher
matches.

“We’re pushing ourselves to get better,” Rice said. “That’s
getting us ready. We’re worried about doing what we do the best we
can.”

The Coyotes wrapped up the first game in a crisp 25 minutes. Cal
State was never challenged, scoring 13 of the first 19 points and
going up 13-6 on a kill by Granados, one of six she had in the game.

The host team outscored the Seasiders 12-8 the rest of the game which
ended on a spike by Rice off a quickset from Hoffman.

The second game was even more lopsided. It was tied at seven but the
Coyotes reeled off 11 straight points, three in a row coming on
winners by Chafeh. The run also included two straight block winners
from the combination of Chafeh and Samantha Middleborn. Cal State
eventually put it away on a spike by Granados.

Cal State opened a commanding 15-5 lead in the final set. Cherniss
substituted freely the rest of the way, using a total of 14 players.

The Coyotes held BYU to a .129 hitting percentage but the visitors
hit .357 in the opening game. The Seasiders only managed a .108 in
the second game and an even-more woeful minus .028 in the third.

Tonight’s match will be the third of the season between the Coyotes
and the Wildcats. Cal State won both regular season meetings 3-0.
Cherniss was impressed with how well Chico played earlier in the
night.

“We’re playing inspired. They’re playing inspired. It should be a
great match,” Cherniss said.