Cal State volleyball team favored again!

The Cal State San Bernardino women’s volleyball team is coming off two consecutive appearances in the NCAA Division II semifinals, so it should be no surprise the Coyotes are the coaches’ pick to repeat as CCAA champions.

Cal State is seeking its eighth conference title since 2001 and its fifth consecutive. The Coyotes received first-place votes from all the other schools.

The Coyotes totaled 121 points and 11 first-place votes. UC San Diego, which placed second a year ago, finished second in the poll. It collected 103 points and a first-place vote from Coyotes coach Kim Cherniss, since you can’t vote for your own team.

Cal State Los Angeles, the West Region runner-up a year ago, was third with 98 points, Sonoma State was fourth with 97 points and Chico State rounded out the top five with 82 points.

Cal State San Bernardino is coming off one of its finest seasons in program history, in which it compiled a 33-2 overall record and advanced to the NCAA national semifinals, where it lost in four sets to eventual national champion Concordia-St. Paul. It marked the second consecutive Coyotes season that ended with a loss to the Bears.

The Coyotes graduated just three players, including two starters. All-American Jane Chafeh of Fontana headlines the returning cast.

The Coyotes open the season with a tournament in Oregon on Sept. 3-4. They will play Central Washington, Western Washington, Western Oregon and Alaska-Anchorage.