The No. 2 Cal State San Bernardino volleyball team opened its season with a pair of convincing wins defeating Central Washington 27-25, 25-18, 25-17 and Western Oregon 23-25, 25-17, 25-21, 25-14 at a tournament hosted by Western Oregon.
Senior Jane Chafeh led the onslaught in the opening match with 20 kills. Junior Samantha Middleborn was the star in the second match with 17, with Chafeh chipping with 12.
Sophomore Camille Smith tallied 69 assists in the two matches. She had been fighting for the starting setter spot with Cal Baptist transfer Krista Hasemeyer. Smith was a star last year as a libero and coach Kim Cherniss had to make a decision on whether or not to move her out of that spot to setter. Having versatile players with a lot of skills is a good problem to have,
The Coyotes will play Western Washington and Alaska-Anchorage today. Both are better than the competition Cal State faced on Friday.
If the Coyotes win those matches they will likely move up to No. 1 in the national poll as reigning and three-time champion Concordia-St. Paul (Minn.) was defeated by Grand Valley State (Mich.) 27-25, 25-18, 25-17 in tournament play in Tampa, Fla.
Concordia, which beat Cal State in the national title match two years ago and the semifinal last year, had won 75 consecutive matches dating back to Aug. 28, 2008 when the Coyotes beat them in the season opener for both at Coussoulis Arena.