Redlands men get first win

The University of Redlands Bulldogs earned their first win of the 2008-09 season by defeating La Sierra University at home, 87-68. Redlands relied on solid shooting throughout the game, posting an overall field-goal percentage of 50.8%, with five players in double figures.

After a three-point lead at the half, the Bulldogs opened up the game midway through the second, gaining a lead by as many as 20 points.

Redlands looked to Bryan Schwartz to pace the team with 17 points on f5-for-8 shooting. Matt Dietrich and Alex Wolpe contributed 15 points each, while Patrick Coffey and Travis Miller put 11 points away.

La Sierra gained 17 points from Daniel Noga and 16 points from Joshua Crouch.

The Bulldogs look forward to hosting the 61st Annual Lee Fulmer Memorial Men’s Basketball Tournament on December 4-6. Redlands tips off against UC Santa Cruz on the 4th at 8 p.m.

Chaffey volleyball team comes up short

WOODLAND HILLS – The Chaffey College volleyball team got a taste of
the playoffs for the first time in nearly two decades. Unfortunately
the foe on the other side of the net was the No. 1 ranked team in the
South.

The result was expected as the 16th-seeded Panthers fell to
top-seeded Los Angeles Pierce 3-0 (25-13, 25-19, 25-10) in first
round playoff action Tuesday night in Woodland Hills.

It was the 25th straight win for the Brahmas (30-1) with 21 of those
coming in sweeps. It was also the 61st straight win at home, dating
back to October of the 2002 season.

“I thought we played tough early on but they just wore us out,”
Chaffey coach Larry Chowen said. “We gave it our best shot. No one
expected us to win. It was more the mental mistakes. We make those
more than we make physical ones.”

The task at hand was tough enough. But it was made tougher when
starting sophomore outside hitter Nikita Johnson became ineligible
earlier in the day. That forced Chowen to alter his starting lineup,
moving sophomore Tara Sawyer from middle to outside and inserting
Oqueisha Wilson in Sawyer’s vacated spot.

“That’s a pretty tough adjustment to make on the fly,” Chowen said.
“I am asking girls to come and do something they haven’t done all
season. I think we did alright considering that.”

Chaffey (16-10) was in striking distance in the opener early, only
trailing by one at 8-7. But the Brahmas went on a 10-3 run and went
up 18-10 on a block by Janet Alvarado and Kameron Ward on Colleen
Chauncey. They secured the game soon after when the Panthers netted a
return of serve.

The Panthers were most competitive in the second game. The set was
even at 14 but the Panthers edged ahead on a hitting error by the
Brahmas’ Vanessa Murray. The visitors made it 16-14 moments later on
a kill by Breanna Mayes.

That lead was short-lived however. Pierce came back with a Chaffey
service error cutting its lead to one. Murray followed with winners
on three straight points, the third of which gave the Brahmas an
18-16 advantage. Pierce tallied nine of the next 10 points and took a
2-0 lead on spike by Natasha Wilroy.

“The second game gave us a lot of confidence,” freshman libero
Christine Luna said. “They learn the same things we do. They dress
the same way we do. I don’t think we were intimated. We just made
mistakes. This is a new experience for us. Next time we’ll know what
it takes.”

Chaffey, the Foothill Conference champion, was never in the third
game. The Brahmas surged out to a 16-3 lead and never looked back.
Coach Nabil Mardini substituted the rest of the way with Brittany
Sousa collecting five kills in the last half of the game.

The Brahmas, who have won the last eight Western States Conference
titles, were led by Murray with 12 kills. Alvarado added nine and
Lisa Sonnenblink six.

The Panthers were led by Mayes with six kills and two total blocks.
Sawyer chipped in with four kills and three blocks. Luna anchored the
defense with 11 kills.

“It was good to get this far,” Luna said. “We should come back
stronger next year.”

Coyotes to hit the road

The NCAA has spoken. And it will be Concordia-St. Paul hosting the Division II Volleyball Elite Eight. Cal State San Bernardino had hoped to get the nod and it looked good for awhile.

Technically the NCAA is supposed to give each region a chance. The West hasn’t had it since Cal State hosted in 2003. The Central had it two years ago when Nebraska-Kearney won it. But the NCAA felt strong enough about Concordia to give them the right again so soon.

It likely put up a pretty good guarantee since it knew it had a title contender with the current No. 1 ranking. And the Bears drew almost 2,000 for their regional final which has to carry some weight. Cal State drew 900.

This Coyote team appears focused, far more focused than any of the previous four teams i have covered. And the draw sets up favorably. First the Coyotes get California-Penn. which came out of a weak Atlantic Region.

The bottom of the bracket, from which the Coyotes potential semifinal opponent would come, had some upsets. In fact a No. 6 regional seed (Nova) advanced. The Coyotes wouldn’t see the host team till the final.

The stars all seem aligned.

Bulldogs finish water polo season

The No. 16 University of Redlands men’s water polo team won three straight games despite falling to fifth-seeded No. 15 Santa Clara University in its opening game of the Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) Championships on Friday to ensure a fifth-place finish in the three-day postseason tournament.

 

The championship tournament, which took place at Claremont Mudd-Scripps Colleges from Nov. 21-23, included a 10-team field: No. 8 Loyola Marymount University, No. 9 UC San Diego, No. 11 UC Davis, Redlands, Santa Clara, the No. 20 U.S. Air Force Academy (CO), Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, Pomona-Pitzer Colleges, Chapman University and UC Santa Cruz.

 

A three-goal effort by senior driver Andrew Becskehazy (Miami, FL) on Friday fell just short of lifting the Bulldogs over Santa Clara. Redlands led 7-6 at the half, but the Broncos netted four second-half goals to the maroon and gray’s two to edge Redlands 10-9 in the first-round matchup.

 

Becskehazy led the way again in Redlands’ second game, which took place on Saturday, but this time, the Bulldogs prevailed, crushing UC Santa Cruz by a 13-5 final.

 

Redlands defeated the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) champions, Pomona-Pitzer, with ease in its second contest on Saturday, advancing to the fifth-place game after winning 11-5.

 

Sunday’s game against Air Force featured a high offensive output from both teams, and the score was knotted at 10 at the end of regulation. The Bulldogs scored three goals to the Falcons’ one in the first overtime period, giving Redlands the 13-11 win. Senior utility player Buddy Olds (Murrieta, CA) finished out his collegiate water polo career playing the role of the hero, scoring a team-high three goals.

 

Becskehazy wrote a storybook ending to an illustrious Bulldog water polo career, leading the team in its four games with nine goals. Junior center Brendan Meaney (Palm Desert, CA) scored seven goals while Olds and sophomore defender Andrew Smith-Jones (Annapolis, MD) compiled six apiece to supplement Becskehazy’s offensive success. Also scoring for Redlands were senior defender Jon Rielly (Vista, CA), sophomore center Miran Terzic (Mostar, Bosna i Hercegovina), junior utility player Brent Dotters (Porterville, CA) with three, junior driver Taylor Swyers (St. Louis, MO), senior utility player Jim Kehrig (Danville, CA), junior defender John Floersch (San Jose, CA) and junior utility player Ian Starkie (Arroyo Grande, CA) with two and junior center Ben Taylor (Porterville, CA) with one.

 

In goal, senior goalkeeper Teddy Trowbridge (Mercer Island, WA) saved a team-high 18 shots while junior goalkeeper Jack Amaral (Porterville, CA) also saw action between the posts and tallied 11 saves.

 

Redlands closed out its excellent season with a 29-9 record, including a 9-1 mark in conference games.

Leopards come up short in final

The University of La Verne’s bid for a fourth national championship
in women’s volleyball came up just short as the Leopards fell to
Emory University (Ga.) 3-1 (16-25, 25-21, 25-17, 25-22) in the
Division III title match Saturday at the Shirk Center on the campus
of Illinois Wesleyan in Bloomington, Ill.

La Verne (27-3) came into the tournament ranked No. 4 nationally but
seeded second in the field. The Leopards earned a spot in the final
with a dramatic 3-2 win over No. 1 Juniata in Friday’s semifinal.

Coach Don Flora was thrilled with his team’s showing. The Leopards
have just two seniors and started four new players this season.

“It’s a little hard to see the forest through the trees right now,”
he said. “But the forest is planted and it’s growing well.”

La Verne hit .224 on the night and was again led by senior Brianna
Gonzales with 18 kills. Junior Crista Jones added 16 but no other
Leopard had more than three.

The Leopards came out hot, hitting .345 in an opening game they
dominated. It was even at 5-all but La Verne went on a 14-4 run with
that stretch including four kills by Gonzales, three by Jones and two
service aces by Chelsea Sleight. It later ended on a winner by Anna
Calmer.

“We started out real clean. It was fun to watch,” Flora added. “We
have talked about calm and intensity and here we were in a national
championship and the girls showed so much poise.”

La Verne led the second set 12-11 on a kill by Gonzales but the
Eagles eventually went ahead 13-12 on a service ace by Kelsey Kryston
and didn’t trail again. They led by as many as four at 23-19 and at
24-20 and evened the match at one set each on a winner by Amelia
McCall.

Emory (35-6) also took the third game. Up 11-9 the Eagles tallied
five of the next six points and going up 16-10 on a spike by senior
Maggie Baird. The Leopards hit just .087 in the game and were not in
striking distance again.

The fourth game was tight the entire way. It was even at 22 but the
Eagles went up on kill by Maggie Baird. They got their first match
point on senior Dani Huffman’s block of a spike by Jones. Baird then
converted on Emory’s first match point.

It was the second meeting this season between the two teams. Emory
defeated La Verne 3-2 in a tournament the Leopards hosted at the
Frantz Athletic Court on Oct 11.

It was the first national title for Emory which outlasted No. 8 Ohio
Northern 3-2 in Friday’s semifinal.

Huffman was named tournament MVP. Gonzales and Jones also made the
all-tournament team.

SBVC men win state cross country title

The San Bernardino Valley College men’s cross country team is the state champion — again.

The Wolverines captured their third straight community college state title Saturday at Woodward Park in Fresno. The Wolverines had three runners in the top 10 and five in the top 25.

SBVC had a total of 50 points, 27 more than runner-up San Diego Mesa. Rounding out the top five were Orange Coast (147), Rio Hondo (172) and Mt. SAC (210).

“It feels great,” coach Wes Ashford said. “Every year is a new year so it’s different. I’m just happy for the kids because they worked hard to get here.”

Sophomore Carlos Perez led the effort, finishing third over the four-mile course in 20:19.05. He also placed third individually last year. It is his fourth straight state title, dating back to his CIF championship teams his last two years at Barstow High School.

Sophomore Matt Sartori, another holdover from last year’s team, was fifth (20:23.85). Also scoring for the Wolverines were Jared Bain (10th in 20:36.58), Art Parra (18th 20:56.06) and Manuel Bueno (21st in 20:5926).

The non-scoring runners were Ankur Joshi (25th in 21:02.01) and Ronell El-Amin (35th in 21:09.72).

“We felt good warming up but you never know what the other teams are going to do so I told them just to focus on ourselves and running our own race,” Ashford said.

The Wolverines, who won the Foothill Conference and Southern California Regionals earlier this season, both by wide margins, celebrated by racing go-karts and playing laser tag at a nearby gaming facility before heading home.

“I promised them if they won they could mess around and have a little fun,” Ashford said.

Freshman A.J. Pulice of Victor Valley qualified as an individual. He placed 69th (21:34.87) out of 199 runners.

Orange Coast won the women’s title with 84 points, just edging out second-place Glendale (86).

Victor Valley qualified two girls, as Melissa Hernandez was 64th (19:64.06) and Monique Hoover was 71st (20:07.64) out of 191 athletes.

Broncos senior honored

Cal Poly Pomona senior Vanessa Williams (Riverside) was named Monday to the first team on the 2008 Daktronics West Region Volleyball All-Star Team.

Williams led this year’s Broncos to the 2008 NCAA West Region championship match Saturday, where CPP lost to No. 2 Cal State San Bernardino. The Broncos were 20-8 this season and ranked in the Bison/AVCA Coaches Top 25 poll all 12 weeks of regular-season play. They tied for second place in the CCAA with a 15-5 record.

The 6-foot-1 Williams led the Broncos in several categories this season including kills (292), hitting percentage (.304), solo blocks (15) and block assists (133). In the most recent NCAA rankings, she was third in blocks/game and ranked first in blocks/game and fifth in hitting percentage in the CCAA. She was named first-team All-CCAA for the second straight year and earned West Region All-Tournament honors.

She also was a two-time CCAA Player of the Week honoree.

By virtue of her first-team status, Williams now moves on to the national All-America ballot. Voting is coordinated by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). The All-American team will be announced Dec. 4.

Coyotes rack up volleyball honors

Cal State San Bernardino’s Jessica Granados has been voted the Daktronics/NCAA Division II West Region player of the year for the second straight year it was announced Monday.

Granados, the two-time California Collegiate Athletic Association player of the year, received the most votes in player of year balloting by sports information directors of the region’s universities and colleges.

The 6-1 right-side hitter from Beaumont (Beaumont HS) is averaging 4.22 kills per set with a total of 392 kills in 93 sets covering 31 matches as the Coyotes prepare to compete in the NCAA National Championship Tournament on Dec. 4-6 at Concordia-St. Paul, Minn.

Also voted to the first team were teammates Sara Hoffman, a junior setter from San Clemente, and Meghan Haas, a senior libero from Menifee. Senior middle blocker Sara Rice was voted to the Daktronics all-region second team.

Granados is hitting .317 for the season with 29 service aces and 1.88 digs per set and 59 blocks. Her kills per set ratio ranks her No. 9 in the nation in that category.

This is her third straight year as a member of the Daktronics all-region first team.

She was a first-team All-American in 2007 as well as first-team American Volleyball Coaches Association all-region first team.

Granados was among four Coyotes voted to the West Regional all-tournament team following Saturday’s 3-0 win over Cal Poly Pomona in the title match.

She currently ranks No. 4 on the CSUSB career kills list with 1,255.

Hoffman ranks No. 7 in the nation in assists per set at 11.52. She has 1,094 for the season and her 2,901 career assists is No. 4 on the Coyotes’ career list. Hoffman was an all-CCAA first team selection this season and a Daktronics all-West Region first team pick in 2008 amd 2007

Haas has covered the back line like a blanket this season, averaging 4.62 digs per match and a total of 462 for the season in 31 matches. She also has produced a team-high 34 service aces. She was named to the all-CCAA first team and the West Regional all-tournament team in 2008 and the Daktronics all-region second team in 2006.

            The 6-foot senior has 1,509 career digs, No. 2 on the CSUSB career list. She needs 35 digs in the national championship tournament to surpass Kim Ford (2000-03) as the all-time Coyotes digs leader.

            Rice is among the national leaders in hitting percentage at .414, averaging 2.37 kills and 0.71 blocks per game with 66 blocks to her credit. She has been an all-CCAA first team pick the past two seasons. She was a CCAA player of the week and was named to the West Regional all-tournament team this past weekend.

            The 6-foot former Yucaipa High School star is hitting .369 over her last three seasons with 195 block assists and 30 solo blocks.

 

 

Coyotes headed to Minnesota

The Cal State San Bernardino volleyball team had been hoping to take a shot at a national title on its home floor but the No. 2 Coyotes will be hitting the road after all.

The privilege of hosting the Elite Eight Dec. 4-6 was awarded to Central Region champion Concordia-St. Paul, the defending national champion and current No. 1 according to the American Volleyball Coaches Association.

Cal State submitted a bid to host and athletic director Kevin Hatcher thought his team had a good shot at getting the nod but took the news in stride.

“We would be disappointed if we were No. 1 and didn’t get the bid. That’s the only way to look at it,” he said. “We just have to make sure and bring our winter clothes.”

The NCAA likes to move the event to a different region each year. The Coyotes hosted in 2003. Sites since then include Barry University in Miami (2004), Nebraska-Kearney (2005), West Florida (2006) and Washburn University in Kansas (2007).

“From a cost standpoint its easier if they have it somewhere more in the middle,” Coyotes coach Kim Cherniss said. “We’re on one extreme so that probably works against is. I’m sure the Eastern schools feel the same way.”

The Coyotes (28-3) polished off local rival Cal Poly Pomona 3-0 Saturday night in the West Region title match to earn a spot in the national quarterfinal for the third time in the last seven years.

In 2003 the Coyotes lost the semifinal to Concordia-St. Paul. A year later they were eliminated in the quarterfinal by Nebraska-Kearney.

The eight-team draw was also finalized. The Coyotes quarterfinal foe will be Atlantic Region champion California University of Pennsylvania (40-1). The No. 17 Vulcans will also be playing in the Elite Eight for the third time. They lost the quarterfinal to Concordia last season.

The Atlantic Region typically has not been one of the most competitive but Cherniss isn’t taking its representative lightly.

“The word is champion. They’re a champion,” she said. “Anyone that wins a championship is playing their best volleyball at this time of the season. You have to respect that.”

Other quarterfinals will pit No. 8 Truman (32-7) against unranked Nova Southeastern (24-1), No. 3 Grand Valley State (32-3) against unranked Armstrong Atlantic (26-8) and unranked New Haven (31-3) against host Concordia-St. Paul (34-1).

If the Coyotes were to win their quarterfinal they would meet the Truman-Nova winner in the semifinal.

Concordia is the only team in the field the Coyotes have played this season and it was Cal State handing the Bears a 3-0 loss in the season opener for both teams. But that match was played at Coussoulis Arena where Cal State went 17-0.

The Coyotes were 4-0 on a neutral court and wouldn’t see Concordia unless both teams advanced to the championship match.

Cherniss said having to make a road trip won’t change the way her team practices, just the schedule. The Coyotes 20-member traveling party will leave on Tuesday.

“There is still game maintanance things we want to work on so we can keep playing at the level we have been playing at. I have been very pleased with the way the girls have worked and gone about their business.”

Chaffey volleyball team to face top seed

Chaffey College volleyball coach Larry Chowen didn’t expect any favors when it came to the playoff draw. And he didn’t get any.

The Panthers, who captured their first Foothill Conference title in nearly 20 years, will travel to Los Angeles Pierce for a 7 p.m. first round playoff game Tuesday.

Chaffey (14-6) drew the No. 16 seed in the Southern California region which earned it a date with the No. 1 seeded Brahmas (29-1). The Panthers can thank their lack of history and the weakness of the Foothill Conference.

“It’s pretty much what I expected,” Chowen said. “The winner of our conference usually gets a one or two seed and has to go on the road. We just have to go do the best we can and see what happens.”

The Panthers are led by sophomore middle blocker Tara Sawyer (178 kills, 99 blocks), the conference most valuable player. Its three other veterans are middle blocker Colleen Chancey (65 blocks) and setters Lauren Hall 249 assists) and Serina Diaz (423 assists).

 

The other sophomore, Nikita Johnson (160 kills), is a transfer from College of the Desert.

Rounding out the core group of players are libero Christine Luna (227 digs) and outside hitter Breeana Mayes (196 kills) – all freshmen.

“I don’t think we have reached our potential yet. This would be a good time to do it,” Chowen added. “I have seen us play really well and I have seen us play not so well. We’ll see which team shows up. We have nothing to lose and they have everything to lose.”

Pierce has a streak of 60 straight wins at home that dates back to October of 2002. They have won eight straight Western States Conference titles.

The Brahmas are led by sophomore setter Terry Soltani (905 assists, 46 aces), sophomore libero Ashley Clark (336 digs) and freshman outside hitter Sarah Martin (266 kills, 38 aces).

The winner next plays the survivor of the match between No. 8 Orange Coast (18-4) and No. 9 Pasadena (16-6).