Coyotes start conference play against rival

What bigger way to start the conference season than against your biggest rival?

That will be the case on Friday when the No. 2 Cal State San Bernardino volleyball team begins CCAA play with a 7 p.m. match at Coussoulis Arena against old nemesis UC San Diego, which is ranked No. 4.

The Coyotes are 7-0 and the Tritons 8-0. (They should be 9-0 after beating Cal State East Bay later tonight).

The two teams don’t really like each other which is usually the case when teams have a storied rivalry. But the teams do respect each other and that’s what is important.

Cal State played in a tournament at UCSD last weekend and although they didn’t play each other, you can bet they were sizing each other up.

This match is more important for the Coyotes than the Tritons because they are playing at home and need to hold serve.

Beating the Tritons in San Diego later this year will be even harder than ever before because this year CCAA newcomer East Bay is San Diego’s travel partner. And the Coyotes get them on the back end of the doubleheader, meaning they will play at East Bay, up in Hayward, on Friday and go all the way South to San Diego for them match the next night. That’s quite a haul.

San Diego is going to have that advantage every time it plays at home because of that scenario. It’s a luxury the Coyotes will never have because its travel partner is Cal Poly Pomona. So opponents aren’t going to be that taxed getting from one venue to the other.

The Coyotes need to issue the first blow!

Coyote player earns weekly honor

Cal State San Bernardino outside hitter Jane Chafeh has been named Molten California Collegiate Athletic Association Women’s Volleyball Player of the Week for Aug. 31 – Sept. 6.

Chafeh, a junior from Fontana, led the second-ranked Coyotes to a 4-0 record at the Triton Invitational in La Jolla over the weekend. Cal State San Bernardino improved to 7-0 on the season after registering wins over Mesa State, Alaska-Anchorage, Saginaw Valley State and Northern Michigan.

Chafeh was selected to the all-tournament team after averaging 5.3 kills and 3.73 digs, totaling five service aces, posting a .268 attack percentage and recording four double-doubles (kills and digs).

The Cal State San Bernardino junior tallied a tournament-high 24 kills, 19 digs and a 4.35 hitting percentage in the team’s opening match against Mesa State. She had 19 kills and 13 digs against Alaska-Anchorage, 17 kills and 14 digs against Saginaw Valley State and 20 kills and 10 digs against Northern Michigan.

Cal State San Bernardino opens CCAA play this week when it hosts undefeated UC San Diego on Friday.

Molten CCAA Women’s Volleyball Player of the Week:

Aug. 24-30: Roxanne Brunsting (UC San Diego)
Aug. 31 – Sept. 6: Jane Chafeh (Cal State San Bernardino).

Locals learning in the minors

The minor league season is done for a pair of local players who were playing professional basbeall for the first time with the Lowell Spinners, a short-season New York-Penn League affiliate of the Boston Red Sox.

Pomona-Pitzer graduate Drew Hedman played in 45 games and hit .265 (40-for-151) with 19 doubles and 21 RBI. He played mostly first base but saw a couple of games in the outfield too.

Chaffey College product Willie Holmes played a bit more sparingly. He got in 26 games and hit .264 (24-for-91).

Both those players were stars at their respective colleges. Hedman was the Division III national player of the year. It goes to show just how tough the game is at the pro level.

No doubt it was a learning year for both. First you have the transition from aluminum to wood bats. There is also the adjustment of learning to play every day rather than a couple of times a week which is further complicated by the long road trips.

SBVC turns in valient effort but falls

Well the San Bernardino Valley College football opener is in the books.

The bad news – the Wolverines lost 13-6 in overtime to the College of the Desert Out-of-State All-Stars. It’s the 16th straight loss, dating back to the 2007 season for SBVC.

The good news is that they turned in one of the most spirited, hard-hitting efforts I have seen since I started covering the school in 2004. They’re going to win some games this season. And yes that’s contrary to what I thought six months ago.

Give new coach Kevin Emerson some credit for pulling this together even after his late hire over the summer.

The Wolverines kept it close early and only trailed 3-0 at the half. They trailed the same team 27-0 at the half in last year’s season opener. They seemed to gain confidence as the game went on.

They turned in some punishing hits, one of which sent the Desert starting quarterback out of the game for good in the first half.

Any opponent that takes this team lightly is in for a rude awakening.

SBVC loses in overtime

SAN BERNARDINO – New San Bernardino Valley College football coach Kevin Emerson kept insisting his team put a woeful 0-10 season behind it. It showed as the Wolverines turned in a spirited effort, only to fall 13-6 in overtime to visiting College of the Desert.

The loss was the 16th straight dating back to the 2007 season and SBVC lost to the same team 34-17 a year ago. But Emerson wasn’t ready to call the showing to a powerful foe from the upper division a moral victory.

“We want to win games. That’s the bottom line,” Emerson said. “You guys can call it whatever you want. We had every opportunity to win the game and didn’t get it done. We have to go work harder this week.”

It was a battle of defense and kickers since neither team could find the end zone. COD’s only points came on field goals of 31 and 39 yards by Brett Symonds and SBVC doing the same with Jaime Garcia hitting from 25 and 30 yards. Each team made two of four field goal tries with the misses being more the fault of the other offensive personnel.

The Wolverines had the chance to win the game in the closing seconds, taking over possession at their own 34 after a COD fumble following a 40-yard play. The drive was hardly a fluid one as they appeared to be done in twice only to be bailed out by a COD offside and a pass interference call three plays later.

With a second-and-14 at the COD 39 quarterback Robert Fuller flipped the ball off to Eric Charles who then lofted the halfback option pass down field to an open Marcus Williams but the pass was just a little long with 22 seconds to go.

The same play had worked for a 21-yard gain midway through the third quarter.

A 14-yard completion to Williams with 14 seconds left gave SBVC a first down. It worked the ball down to the 25 with Fuller running 10 yards and keeping the ball in the middle of the field for the field goal try with two seconds left.

Desert called two time outs to ice the kicker but Garcia never really had a chance as the offensive line broke down, preventing him from getting a clean effort off.

Desert had the ball first in the overtime and needed just four plays, scoring when Gaston Bailey hauled in a nine-yard toss from backup quarterback Cameron Epting.

SBVC never got much going on its turn and the game ended with Fuller’s 16-yard completion to Williams on fourth down short by two yards.

SBVC totaled 284 yards offense. Fuller, who red-shirted last year at Utah State, went 15-of-33 for 155 yards. He also ran for 37 on seven tries. Ronnie Yarber led SBVC ball carriers with 53 yards on 12 carries.

COD managed 198 with Epting throwing for 106.

SBVC hurt itself with penalties. It was called for 12 penalties for 180 yards. It had an 11-yard scoring pass from Fuller to Eric Charles in the first half nullified by an illegal block. Then in the fourth quarter Jim O’Brien, one of the many SBVC standouts on defense, ran back an interception 19 yards for a touchdown which was called back by an offsides.

The SBVC defense turned in some punishing hits, one of which sent starting quarterback J.D. Buonantony out of the game for good with 9:22 left in the half. He had tucked the ball and run and was stopped by a defender though he was still on his feet. Another defender came in from the other direction and leveled him.

“I hope we showed people we can play good football tonight,” Emerson said. “We’re going to win some games.”

The Wolverines will play at Riverside next Saturday in the Bell Game.

Chaffey’s Warren headed to Xavier

Chaffey College product Christina Warren has signed with Xavier University in Louisiana.
Warren, a 5-foot-9 forward-guard from Rancho Cucamonga, also ttemed Los Osos High School.

Warren averaged 12.7 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.1 blocked shots per game and shot 45 percent from the floor and 76 percent from the line during two seasons (2006-08) at Chaffey and helped the Panthers go 46-18 and reach the semifinals of the regional playoffs both years. She was first-team All-Foothill Conference both seasons, MVP of two tournaments her freshman year and all-tournament three times as a sophomore.

As a sophomore Warren led Chaffey with 13.5 points per game.

At Los Osos Warren averaged 13.1 points and 5.3 rebounds her senior year.

Warren is the second from Rancho Cucamonga to sign with Xavier this year. Freshman guard DeRonn Scott (Etiwanda High) signed in April with the men’s basketball team.

Xavier made 13 appearances in the NAIA Division I National Championship the past 15 seasons and was 23-9 in 2008-09. The Gold Nuggets will return 12 letterwomen, including LaTashia Wise and honorable-mention All-American Brittany Powell, both seniors.

Cal State women lose in soccer

Grand Canyon’s Nichole Elias scored an unassisted goal in the 67th minute Thursday night to give the host Antelopes a 2-1 non-conference women’s soccer victory over Cal State San Bernardino.

    The loss dropped the Coyotes to 1-2 on the season. Pacific West Conference member GCU is now 2-0 after defeating CCAA member Cal State Dominguez Hills and the Coyotes. CSUSB will play Mesa State in a neutral site match at Grand Canyon at 7:30 p.m. Friday night.

     Sophomore Jaclyn Clark gave the Coyotes a 1-0 lead just 6:30 into the match when she received a pass from junior Unity Beddingfield and booted the ball from the left side into the far corner of the net, giving Beddingfield an assist on the play.

     Eight minutes later, Grand Canyon got the equalizer on Kaylen Jackson’s second goal of the season off an assist by Kelcee Newell.

     The 1-1 deadlock continued until Elias’ match-decider.

     CSUSB goalkeeper Laura Lyons stopped five shots on goal while her counterpart, Mileena Buchel had two saves.

Lacrosse players honored

The Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) announced yesterday that six University of Redlands women’s lacrosse student-athletes have earned Academic Squad honors.  This honor is given to juniors and seniors who boast a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5.
Junior defender Erin Benjamin (San Diego, CA) led the Bulldogs with her GPA of 3.709 as a Psychology major.  During the 2009 season, she helped solidify the backline by picking up nine ground balls while causing six turnovers.  This three-time Redlands Scholar-Athlete also tallied two draw controls for the Bulldogs.
As an accounting major, senior midfielder Lauren Matta (Holyoke, MA) boasted a 3.704 GPA.  A Redlands Scholar-Athlete each year of her career, she has continuously personified the ideals of a true student-athlete, earning both academic and athletic excellence. She owns career school records in ground balls (198) and draw controls (169) and also ranks second all-time in goals (100). This past season, Matta produced the team’s second-highest totals in goals (27), points (30) and draw controls (53) while also adding three assists, 30 ground balls and 13 caused turnovers.
Senior midfielder Lisa O’Kane (San Diego, CA) gains the IWLCA honor for her 3.686 GPA as a Communicative Disorders major.  Last season, she competed in every game for the Bulldogs, posting 14 ground balls, 12 draw controls, and nine caused turnovers.  This two-time Redlands Scholar-Athlete also contributed three goals and one assist.
As a double major in Managerial Studies and Environmental Studies, senior midfielder Liza Gray produced a cumulative GPA of 3.575.  During the 2009 lacrosse season, this three-time Redlands Scholar-Athlete ranked third on the team in draw controls with 42 and came up with 26 ground balls and 15 caused turnovers.  In addition, she scored 11 goals and supplied two assists.
Junior attack player Anna Moriarty (Oak Park, IL) put together a 3.517 cumulative GPA while pursuing her degree in Religion with a minor in Spanish.  This Redlands Scholar-Athlete supplied four goals and three assists while adding two ground balls and one caused turnover.
Finally, senior midfielder Ali Chope (San Francisco, CA) earned IWLCA academic honors with a 3.550 GPA as a Psychology major.  In 14 games, she tallied 17 ground balls, 11 draw controls and three caused turnovers to go along with five goals and one assist.  Chope also earned Redlands Scholar-Athlete laurels each year of her career.
These honors come on the heels of the Bulldogs’ IWLCA Team Academic award, which was announced late last month, for their combined cumulative GPA of 3.2.

Junior college football coaches have to find a balance

The local junior college football teams kick off the season this Saturday. Something definitely stands out just with a passing glance down a tentative Chaffey College roster. There are a lot of out-of-state additions this season.

Veteran coach Carl Beach has always prided himself on the fact that he competed with local players. It is a philosophy adhered to by all of the coaches on the college’s staff. It’s one reason that it is so enjoyable to go out and cover its teams – there is a true local feel.

As good a basketball coach as Phil Mathews was at San Bernardino Valley a few years back, it seemed a bit hollow covering a team that was made up 90 percent of out of town players.

But this year Beach has sprinkled in some players from elsewhere, not an overwhelming number – 16 or so. There are nine from Florida, eight of those from the football-rich Miami-Fort Lauderdale area. The others are from a wide variety of states.

Beach has always lamented the problems that come with having so many out-of-towners and been critical of coaches that rely on the imports. They have to have a place to live, so oftentimes a bunch are crammed into the same house or apartment. They may or may not get along. They have to pay their own living expenses so now they have to have jobs or rely on family.

They are away from home, many for the first time, which leads to other problems.

Then all it itakes is one party getting out of hand or one guy getting in trouble and it sets a bad down in the community and gives the school a bad reputation.

But the Panthers are competing in the National Conference, the elite level according to the new conference alignment that was used for the first time last year. They went 5-5. So it was clear that you can’t compete with just local players. Look at the rosters of the teams that were on top and they all have considerable talent from out of the area.

College of the Desert, for one, had 40 or so from out of state last season. When Victor Valley had its huge breakthrough season a few years back it had that many too!

So if you can’t beat’em, join’em!

You can’t blame Beach, he is trying to compete. And I don’t think he’ll be one of those guys to start comprising his principles to where he is depending on those guys soley.