You can add the Cal State San Bernardino golf team to the long list of local teams that have had to settle for runner-up finishes.
The Coyotes squandered an eight-stroke lead and lost in a sudden death playoff to Sonoma State at the NCAA Division II Championships at Loomis Trail Golf Club in Washington.
It came down to the last hole and the last group on the course. Cal State’s Gene Webster double-bogeyed while Sonoma’s Patrick Bauer bogeyed. That one hole also costed Webster first place individually.
No one probably feels worse than he.
So that makes five national runners-up for the area . . .
– Cal State women’s volleyball
– University of Laverne women’s volleyball
– Cal Poly Pomona men’s basketball
– University of La Verne men’s golf
Your take on second place depends on the scenario. The run by the Cal Poly Pomona men was a true Cinderella story. They weren’t supposed to get there. No one expected them to get there and they had multiple obstacles to overcome. They’re probably disappointed, but OK with finishing second.
The Coyote volleyball team had a great national tournament, only to fall in five games to the No. 1 team in the country which was playing on its home floor. They played their best and the other team was a tad better on the last few plays. You can live with that.
The La Verne volleyball team also fared well to get that far and beat the No. 1 team in the semis, only to lose to No. 2 in the finale. Same deal.
The La Verne golfers . . . well they were in first place much of the way too. They were ranked No. 2 in the country all year. They failed to close the deal. So second is a letdown.
But this one has to be the most disappointing second place of all of the above. To watch it slip away hole by hole has to be tough.
Four of the five players will return next year. That might be the silver lining. But the Coyotes will have four months to think about it before the fall season tees off in September.