Matches between the volleyball teams from Cal State San Bernardino and UC San Diego are typically intense from the first serve to the last. They’re elite teams, not just in the CCAA, but nationally.
So the first match between the two this season was stunning. The Coyotes prevailed 3-1 (25-16, 21-25, 25-20, 20-11) at Coussoulis Arena. It was a beatdown of major proportions. It wasn’t even really that close. The Coyotes led the last game 20-6 at one point.
That’s the volleyball equivalent of 5-0 in soccer, 10-1 in baseball. You get the picture.
The score is even more noteworthy when considering the Coyotes (8-0, 1-0) came in ranked second in the country and San Diego (9-1, 1-1) fourth. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come for coach Kim Cherniss and her team.
Jane Chafeh was her usual self with 21 kills and 11 digs. And Sara Hoffman ran the offense efficiently again with 32 assists. But the Coyotes superior blocking effort is what made the difference. Credit Samantha Middleborn, Morgan Carty and Megan Johnson as the Coyotes tallied 11 total blocks, a run of those in the third game giving them breathing room for good.
This version of the Coyotes isn’t quite as good as the team that finished as the NCAA Division II national runner-up a year ago. But this early it shouldn’t be. The Coyotes have the potential to be every bit that good by the end of the season. And that has to be daunting thought to upcoming opponents.
But you can also be sure San Diego will be more prepared when the Coyotes come to their arena and want a little payback.