All-CCAA honors handed out in volleyball

By Michelle Gardner

Staff Writer

SAN BERNARDINO – For a second straight year Cal State San Bernardino
rightside hitter Jessica Granados has been named CCAA Player of the

The awards were announced Thursday in conjunction with the Division
II West Regional tournament being held at Coussoulis Arena.

Granados, a 6-foot-1 senior out of Beaumont, led the conference in
kills per game (4.19) and fourth in hitting percentage (315). In
addition to her 352 kills Granados tallied 27 service aces, 153 digs
and 50 total blocks in leading the Coyotes to a 25-3 regular season
record and No. 2 national ranking.

She was one of five Coyotes honored. Joining her on first team were
senior middle blocker Sara Rice, junior setter Sara Hoffman and
senior libero Meghan Haas. Junior outside hitter Ashtin Hall was
named to the second-team.

Cal Poly Pomona (19-7) had four players recognized. Seniors Jenna
Young and Vanessa Williams were selected to the first team while
junior setter Jasmine Davis and senior outside hitter Anne-Marie
Hofmans made second team. It was the fourth first-team selection for
Young and third for Williams.

Sonoma State coach Bear Grassl earned Coach of the Year honors for
leading the Seawolves to a 23-6 record, highlighted by the school’s
first playoff appearance and national ranking since 1993.

Junior Gabriela Builawczyk of Cal State Los Angeles, a transfer from
Southern Idaho, was named Newcomer of the Year and UC San Diego’s
Hillary Williamson earned Freshman of the Year accolades.

Rebecca Bailey (UC San Diego, OH, Sr.)

Erica Brick (Chico State, S, Sr.)

Gabriela Bulawczyk (Cal State L.A., OH, Jr.)

Jessica Granados (Cal State San Bernardino, OH, Sr.)

Meghan Haas (Cal State San Bernardino, LIB, Sr.)

Gillian Heydorff (Chico State, OH, Jr.)

Sara Hoffman (Cal State San Bernardino, S, Jr.)

Sara Rice (Cal State San Bernardino, MB)

Kristy Sather (Sonoma State, OH, Sr.)

Sylvia Schmidt (UC San Diego, MB, Jr.)

Ursula Vieira (Cal State L.A., RS, Sr.)

Vanessa Williams (Cal Poly Pomona, MB, Sr.)

Jenna Young (Cal Poly Pomona, OH, Sr.)

Second Team

Lynsey Adams (Humboldt State, OH, Sr.)

Lindsay Brown (Sonoma State, S, Jr.)

Elaine Chen (UC San Diego, S, Jr.)

Jasmine Davis (Cal Poly Pomona, S, Jr.)

Ashtin Hall (Cal State San Bernardino, OH, Jr.)

Annie Hoffmans (Cal Poly Pomona, OH, Sr.)

Taylor Krenwinkle (Sonoma State, S, Fr.)

Lindsay Macias (Chico State, OH, Sr.)

Amy McMahon (Cal State L.A., MB, Sr.)

Beth Perkins (San Francisco State, OH, Jr.)

Crystal Trifeletti (Chico State, MB, So.)

Ali Walker (Sonoma State, OH, Jr.)

Hillary Williamson (UC San Diego, OH, Fr.)

Most Valuable Player: Jessica Granados (Cal State San Bernardino)

Freshman of the Year: Hillary Williamson (UC San Diego)

Newcomer of the Year: Gabriela Bulawczyk (Cal State L.A.)

Coach of the Year: Bear Grassl (Sonoma State)

SBVC women face tough task

The San Bernardino Valley College women’s soccer team isn’t going to have long to celebrate its first-ever Foothill Conference title.


The Wolverines (15-6-3) are busily preparing for their first-round playoff game against Cerritos (17-0-4), which isn’t just the top seed but the top-ranked team in the country.

Coach Kristin Hauge was informed of the playoff draw on Tuesday and is excited about the first-round matchup at 2 p.m. Saturday at Cerritos.

The teams played a nonconference game three weeks ago and the Falcons emerged with a 3-2 win. SBVC felt good about that game because it has been the only team this season to score on Cerritos more than once.

“We felt good about the way we played and we’re looking forward to getting another chance,” Hauge said. “Yes it is going to be tough, but we like the challenge.”

The Wolverines will be making their second tournament appearance in school history. The first came last year when they advanced as conference runner-up but defeated Victor Valley 1-0 in a first-round game. They were eliminated in the second round by Cuyamaca 3-1 in overtime.

The Wolverines are led by freshman forward Sylvia Fuentes, the conference’s most valuable player. She has scored 12 goals and nine assists and is second on the team in points to Sarahi Bransford (17 goals, 11 assists).

SBVC also has a solid goalkeeping duo in sophomore Jackie Jaime and freshman Maria Magana.

“We have nothing to lose, so we’re up for the challenge,” Hauge said.

Cal Poly’s Williams named player of the week

Cal Poly Pomona middle blocker Vanessa Williams has been named Molten California Collegiate Athletic Association Women’s Volleyball Player of the Week for Nov. 10-16. It marks the second time this season she has been honored.

Williams, a senior from Riverside, Calif., led the Broncos to a pair of wins over Cal State Dominguez Hills and Cal State L.A. In two games, Williams totaled 24 kills, 10 blocks, four digs and posted a .477 hitting percentage.

In a three-set win over Cal State Dominguez Hills, Williams recorded a .545 hitting percentage (6-0-11) in helping the Broncos to a CCAA-record .488 team hitting percentage.

In a five-set win over Cal State L.A. on Saturday, Williams totaled 18 kills, nine blocks and three digs while registering a .455 hitting percentage.

Cal Poly Pomona, which tied for second in the final CCAA standings, earned the No. 3 seed in the NCAA Division II West Regional and will take on No. 6 Western Oregon in a first-round match on Thursday.

Molten CCAA Women’s Volleyball Player of the Week:
Aug. 25-31: Jessica Granados (Cal State San Bernardino); Sept. 1-7: Jessica Granados (Cal State San Bernardino); Sept. 8-14: Ursula Vieira (Cal State L.A.); Sept. 15-21: Joliann Arzadon (Humboldt State); Sept. 22-28: Sylvia Schmidt (UC San Diego); Sept. 29-Oct. 5: Sara Hoffman (Cal State San Bernardino); Oct. 6-12: Gabriela Bulawczyk (Cal State L.A.); Oct. 13-19: Gabriela Bulawczyk (Cal State L.A.); Oct. 20-26: Vanessa Williams (Cal Poly Pomona); Oct. 27-Nov. 2: Megan Loghry (Cal State Stanislaus); Nov. 3-9: Sara Rice (Cal State San Bernardino).; Nov. 10-16: Vanessa Williams (Cal Poly Pomona).

Coyotes not at full strength yet

So the Cal State San Bernardino men’s basketball team is taking the court in 45 minutes or so for its season opener against Alaska-Fairbanks at Coussoulis Arena.

The 3 p.m. start on a Sunday isn’t going to make for much of a crowd but Fairbanks was willing to make the trip and the Coyotes needed the game, especially since it is an an-region game.

The Coyotes will not be at full strength. Point guard Devin Montgomery, a transfer from Pepperdine still hasn’t been cleared by the NCAA. That is supposed to be coming any day. But I have been hearing that for three weeks.

Brandon Brown isn’t eligible either. Coach Jeff Oliver has touted him as the next great Cal State player, supposedly better than Ivan Johnson was two years ago. Brown will be eligible after the fall quarter, which will likely be right before the Coyotes play their two games in Las Vegas Dec. 20-21.

I am already convinced. Brown is heaving up shots from half court, no other Coyotes in sight yet. He made four out of about 10 tries, the last one swishing through seemingly with no effort.

Oliver can only hope that’s a sign of things to come!

La Verne volleyball team advances to nationals

By Michelle Gardner

Staff Writer

   LAVERNE -  The last thing University of La Verne coach Don Flora wanted was to see his SCIAC rival a third time when it mattered most. That’s what he got. But like the first two times the Leopards prevailed 3-1 (20-25, 25-22, 25-20, 28-26) Saturday at Frantz Athletic Court in the championship match of the Division III West Region tournament.

The win sends the No. 4 Leopards (25-2) into the national tournament for the fifth time in coach Don Flora’s 11-year tenure. That event begins on Thursday at Illinois Wesleyan in Bloomington, Ill.

“I hate that clich that it’s hard to beat a team three times but it’s really true,” Flora said. “The pressure was all on us. They had absolutely nothing to lose. Everyone expected them to lose. That was a great Division III volleyball match. It was two teams going at it strength against strength.”

The most recent meeting wasn’t as easy as the first two. La Verne struggled early on, hitting just .036 in an opening game that No. 14 Cal Lutheran won 25-20 behind the five kills of Megan Thorpe.

But the Leopards upped the level of their play with each of the following games, winning the second 25-22 while hitting .231 and the third 25-20 hitting an even-better .267.

The fourth game featured 17 ties nine lead changes, with no team building more than a three-point lead.  The Regals (26-7), who upset Cal State East Bay in Friday’s semifinal, turned aside four match points the first coming at 24-22 when Erin Exline and Lindsay Benson blocked a shot by La Verne’s Brianna Gonzales.

Cal Lutheran (26-7) had a game point at 25-24 but a service error, one of its 12 on the night, evened it at 25. It was tied for the last time at 26 but the Regals’ Allison Kerr landed a shot in the net to give the host team its fifth match point. This time the Leos secured it on a Cal Lutheran hitting error.

“It is definitely a relief to finally be able to think about nationals,” said Gonzales, named the tournament’s most outstanding player. “We worked hard to get here. Even though we played them twice, that didn’t matter. We were just focused on this match.”

Gonzales had 27 kills on 74 attacks. She also had 12 digs and three aces. Crista Jones contributed 16 and Rebecca Villanueva 12. Yesenia Lopez tallied 44 assists and 18 digs and Courtney Boyd had a team-high 25 digs.

Kerr had 14 to lead Call Lutheran which hit .196 on the night.

“There was pressure but we tried to stay calm and not freak out,” junior middle blocker Ashley Morgado said. “We have faith in each other and that helps because that turns the pressure into belief that we’re going to come through.”

The trip to nationals will be the first for all but Gonzales and Madison Bradley who were freshman on the 2005 team that lost the national semifinal to Wisconsin-Whitewater.

“There’s no reason we can’t go there and finish the job,” Gonzaels added.




Coyotes peaking at the right time

I have been watching the Cal State San Bernardino volleyball team play for the last five years. I have always been impressed with the level of play and the character of the players Kim Cherniss brings in.

Forget conference titles. The program has reached elite status to where it is now competing for a national title every year.

The Coyotes have reached the regional championship nine straight years but has gotten over the hump and qualified for nationals just twice – 2003 and 2004. The biggest problem has been that the Coyotes have to get out of the toughest region in the country.

I wasn’t ready to call this team better than last year’s team . . . until last night. The Coyotes graduated just two players but one of those was Sharea Drawn, a dominant blocker. That’s one area where I didn’t think the Coyotes were as good as they were last year.

But the Coyotes dominated a quality Cal State L.A. team 25-20, 25-18, 25-22. The reason was blocking and one of the key contributors was freshman Samantha Middleborn out of Carter High School.

Cherniss has a way of bringing along her freshmen players. Middleborn looks like the latest in a long line of newcomers who have improved tremendously over the course of a rookie season.

Maybe this can be the year the Coyotes finally get over the hump and get back to nationals. They certainly appear to be peaking at the right time.

La Verne to play for region title

The Division III West Region final will be a rematch of SCIAC rivals
as No. 3 seed Cal Lutheran and top-seeded host University of LaVerne
advanced with semifinal wins Friday at Frantz Athletic Court.

Senior Brianna Gonzales and junior Crista Jones tallied 16 kills each
to lead the No. 4 ranked Leopards to a 3-1 (25-19, 21-25, 25-20,
25-12) win over Nebraska Wesleyan. Ashley Morgado contributed 11 for
La Verne, which hit .222 on the night.

Yesenia Lopez was the catalyst of the offense with 39 assists. She
also had 21 digs. Chelsea Slight led all players in the defensive
department with 25 digs.

Abby Bade led Nebraska with 17 kills and two solo blocks.

The Kingsmen (26-6) upset No. 2 seed and No. 9 nationally ranked Cal
State East Bay 3-0 (25-22, 25-22, 25-18). Balance was the key as
Allison Kerr had nine kills while three other players notched eight

This will be the third time La Verne and Cal Lutheran have squared
off. The Leopards won both regular season meetings 3-0 and 3-1.

Coyotes clinch tie for conference

By Michelle Gardner

Staff Writer

SAN BERNARDINO – Kim Cherniss couldn’t stop smiling. Winning a
conference title can do that to even a veteran coach.

The Coyotes secured at least a share of their third straight CCAA
title and the sixth in eight years, besting Cal State Los Angeles 3-0
(25-20, 25-18, 25-22) Friday at Coussoulis Arena. A win tonight and
the Coyotes will claim the title outright but that seems like just a
formality as they will be playing last-place Dominguez Hills (3-24,

The victory also keeps the Coyotes (24-3, 16-3) first in the Pacific
Region which would assure them the right to host next week’s
eight-team regional. It also avenged a loss to the Eagles earlier
this season.

“I’m ecstatic,” said a beaming Cherniss. “A conference title,
another banner to hang. We beat a very good team and we played well
so it feels good. We’re peaking at the right time.”

The Coyotes turned in their best blocking effort of the season,
knocking down 14 total team blocks to six for the Eagles. It seemed
to be one area where Cal State wasn’t as faring as well as it did
last season when it had a dominant blocker in Sharea Drawn.

But Samantha Middleborn, a freshman out of Carter High School, came
up with seven block assists and two solos to lead the effort.

“We had some individual blocking but we weren’t doing a good job of
team blocking and that’s important. It’s something we have been
making an effort to focus on and it showed.”

It was appropriate that the Coyotes closed out the match at the net.
Up 21-20 in the third set after winning the first two, Sara Rice
recorded a solo block to make it 22-20. Middleborn and junior setter
Sara Hoffman teamed up for one seconds later against Eagles 6-foot-1
standout Gabriela Bulawczyk.

Middlborn blocked a tip by Mary Laupepa to give the Coyotes a match
point and they wasted no time converting with Jessica Granados lining
a winner off the Eagles block.

“We have been working hard on our blocking and it was nice to come
up big against a big team,” Middleborn said. “We took what we have
been doing in practice and brought it out here.”

The Coyotes hit a solid .293 on the night with Granados notching 14
kills in 28 attacks. Sophomore Jane Chafeh added 10, seven of those
coming in the final game. Rice contributed eight. Hoffman had 37
assists and Meghan Haas a team-high 11 digs.

The Coyotes held the Eagles (20-6, 13-6) to a .192 average, Bulawczyk
had 12 but took 32 total attacks.

The loss was as costly to the Eagles as it was beneficial to the
Coyotes. They are sixth in the region and very much on the bubble of
making the playoff field. It won’t get easier as the Eagles face a
must-win tonight at Cal Poly Pomona (17-7, 14-5).

Taking a guess at the local games for the weekend

This will likely be the last weekend of action for the local colleges. The University of Redlands has an outside shot at an at-large bid, but that’s only if they win. And even then it’s a long shot given the history of the SCIAC teams.

Here’s a guess at this week’s outcomes . . .

Cal Lutheran at Redlands

Redlands has the No. 2 defense in the country, Cal Lu the No. 4. But Redlands has the better offense and will be playing at home.

Redlands 17, Cal Lu 14

Claremont-Mudd-Scripps at Pomona Pitzer

It’s the annual battle for the Peace Pipe. Two words – Jake Caron

Pomona Pitzer 34, CMS 24

La Verne at Chapman

Chapman plays up to good teams and down to lesser ones but usually gets by. That will likely happen here.

Chapman 24, La Verne 21

SBVC at L.A. Harbor

Its the last chance for the Wolverines to get in the win column but not likely to happen as the Seahawks boast the top passing team in the South.

Harbor 44, SBC 21

Chaffey at Mt. SAC

Mt SAC is coming off a loss so it should come out a little bit testy. It has too much depth and is too physical for a banged up Chaffey team.

Mt. SAC 42, Chaffey 24

Victor Valley at Mt San Jacinto

The Eagles are one of the most improved teams in the South but the Rams and super QB O’Ryan Bradley should still prevail.

Victor Valley 38, MSJ 21

Cal State women open basketball season

 Cal State San Bernardino begins its quest for a return to the NCAA Division II women’s basketball tournament on Saturday, hosting Dixie State College at 2 p.m. in Coussoulis Arena.
            The Coyotes have one game under their belt – a 63-55 loss to UNLV, a Division I program – last weekend while the Rebels of Dixie State have three pre-season games in the book.

            CSUSB has been experimenting with different lineups on the court to give the coaching staff a feel for which combination can be most effective.

The team mounted a 10-point lead in the first half against UNLV while shooting well from the floor but UNLV defense and cold shooting caught up with the team in the second half as they trailed by as much as 10 in the final minutes.

Shannon Gholar and Morgan Pryor came off the bench to provide some valuable minutes for the Coyotes against UNLV and could get the start on Saturday along with Krystal Urzua, who scored 21 against UNLV, Jaclyn Rainville and point guard Ashlee Ford.

            PROBABLE STARTERS - For Cal State San Bernardino – Krystal Urzua, Jaclyn Rainville, Ashlee Ford, Shannon Gholar, Morgan Pryor. For Dixie State – Jessica Carver, Lindsey Chettinger, Courtney Boyd,  Jessie Ingraham, Megan Tidwell.

ON THE WEB – The CSUSB-Dixie State will be webcast at (click on Listen Live).

            LIVE STATS – Follow the Coyotes via Live Stats, also on the athletics website home page.

            DIXIE DOODLES – The Pacific West Conference member Rebels return four starters from last year’s team that went 16-11 and 12-6 in the Pac West….Jessica Carver was the team’s leading scorer and rebounder at 15.5 ppg and 9.2 rpg with 48 blocked shots and 38 steals. She also made 82 percent of her free throws…..Lindsey Chettinger averaged 10.1 ppg with 23 steals…..Courtney Boyd led the team in assists with 109 with 41 steals and averaged 6.3 ppg and 3.1 rpg…..the team averaged 70 points a game while giving up 64 ppg….in 2008 pre-season games this month, the Rebels beat Southern Utah 59-53, lost to Utah State 74-58 and lost to BYU 77-40, all exhibitions….coach Angela Kristensen is in her seventh year of college coaching, her third at Dixie where she is 32-23 after two seasons…..her overall record is 103-84….Dixie State has 6,400 students and was founded in 1911….the Rebels head for UC San Diego for a 1 p.m. game Sunday against the Tritons.

            YOTES NOTES – Senior forward Rachel Johnson and Ana Onaindia, a guard who transferred from UC Santa Barbara, are both in rehabilitation after surgery on their injured legs and both will be out of action indefinitely…..Morgan Pryor had 11 points and two steals against UNLV….Jaclyn Rainville had 10 points and four rebounds in 22 minutes against UNLV….Shannon Gholar had three assists and two steals in 23 minutes and knocked down a three-pointer against UNLV….Krystal Urzua’s 21 points came on nine field goals in 18 tries but the was just two of 10 from 3-point range. Urzua collected a team-high five rebounds and dished off three assists and even blocked a shot in 33 minutes….CSUSB shot 47 percent in the first half but only 19 percent in the second half against UNLV….Coyotes will be two games in the Grand Canyon tournament in Phoenix, AZ, next weekend. CSUSB plays Regis University of Colorado at 5 p.m. on Friday and the host Antelopes at 4 p.m. on Saturday….