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.

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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.



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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.”

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