Coyotes go 3-0 in opening event

The No. 2 Cal State San Bernardino women’s volleyball team improved to 3-0, easily disposing of Alaska-Fairbanks this afternoon at Cal State Dominguez Hills. It wasn’t as close as the 25-17, 27-25, 25-19 would seem to indicate as coach Kim Cherniss used all her players once she established a lead.

Sure it would have been nice to be playing in Hawaii as the Coyotes had planned but budget restrictions prevented them from going to an event there. It was nice of event organizers at Cal Poly Pomona to make room for them in this event close to home so they could get some matches in.

Coaches have to find a balance between experimenting with their lineups and playing to win. While conference games are more important, it is these that establish a pecking order and gives one school an edge over another when regional rankings are compiled.

Western Washington learned the hard way. The Vikings didn’t make the regional playoffs last season despite finishing 21-3, placing second in their conference and having a national ranking. That was solely because their poor nonconference schedule.

So they remedied that this year, making the trip to California and playing San Bernardino and Cal State Los Angeles, top tier teams in the CCAA. And they did so even though they’re rebuilding. If they don’t make the regional, strength of schedule won’t be the issue.

Seattle Pacific doesn’t get it though. Sure it played a reloading Cal Poly Pomona. But it bucked the chance to play the Coyotes, something it may regret later. First off, what better time to possibly upset the Coyotes than early.

Second, you have nothing to lose. Even if you don’t win it helps your strength of schedule. And if you happen to pull it out, that’s a real bonus. It’s a huge win over a regional foe that will garner you national attention and give you instant credability.

It would also help to play a quality team now that you very well could see down the line in the postseason. And the GNAC isn’t the most competitive when it comes to volleyball so it should have seized the chance to play the Coyotes.

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No. 2 Coyotes sweep two foes

The Cal State San Bernardino volleyball team got off to an impressive start, turning in 3-0 wins over Ashland (Ohio) and Western Washington at the Southern California Classic on Friday.

The win over Western Washington by scores of 25-14, 25-19, 25-23 was of more interest because the Vikings were 21-3 last season and favored to win the Great Northwest Athletic Conference despite graduating four starters.

Ashland is coming off a 14-13 season and a fourth place finish in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

Junior Jane Chafeh should emerge as the go-to player, a role filled so well by the now-departed Jessica Granados the last two years. Chafeh had 27 kills, 21 digs and three service aces on the night. Coach Kim Cherniss also got stellar play from senior setter Sara Hoffman (54 assists, five aces, three total blocks) and sophomore middle Samantha Middleborn (19 kills). Sophomore Kelcie Tolan did an admirable job as libero

The Coyotes cruised in the first two games, even though Cherniss made wholesale changes in the second game. She did that in the third as well, which is the only reason it was close. You have to be use these nonconference matches to experiment with your personnel so you know what you have when it really matters.

While the last game was close, I never had the feel that the Coyotes wouldn’t win it.

Saturday they will head back to the Toro Dome at Dominguez Hills to face Alaska-Fairbanks, a team that both Cal Poly Pomona and Cal State Los Angeles easily disposed of so it likely will be another 3-0 triumph.

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SBVC’s Green headed out

Sophomore forward Angela Green of San Bernardino Valley College is headed to NAIA Dakota State University in Madison, S.D.

Green played her high school ball at La Sierra in Riverside and followed that up with two productive years with Sue Crebbin’s Wolverines.

At SBVC she was a part of back to back Foothill Conference title teams, and was on the SBVC 2007-2008 team that tied the school record for most consecutive wins and most wins in a season.

Crebbin has done an admirable job of moving her players to the next level which should be the primary goal of all junior college coaches.

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