Coyotes favored to repeat

The Cal State San Bernardino women’s volleyball team is the coaches pick to repeat as CCAA champion. Given that coach Kim Cherniss returns much from a team that was the 2008 national runner-up – it’s a no-brainer.

The Coyotes did graduate one of the best offensive players in school history in Jessica Granados, as well as perhaps the best defensive player in Meghan Haas. But Cherniss always has younger players waiting their turm to emerge as the marquee player.

Cherniss is particularly high on incoming freshman Rachel Tayor as well as junior transfer Nicole Moore. Also expect a breakout year from returning junior Jane Chafeh who appears ready ti make the move from supplemental player to lead performer.

UC San Diego, which gives the Coyotes fits, again appears to be the biggest challenger.

Cal Poly Pomona is picked sixth. The Broncos graduated some key players Vanessa Williams and Jenna Young, as well as Allie Newman, one of thr most improved players in the conference a year ago.

Backup setter Cally Young had family issues and opted not to come back. Neither did defensive specialist Rafaela Rosa. So the Broncos have a lot of question marks.

The teams began official practices on Monday. They open the season Aug. 28.