Three of the seven area college football teams are off this week and one that is playing will be on the road. So there aren’t many games to choose from.
Linfield, Ore. (0-1) at University of La Verne, 12:30 p.m.
Linfield has had two weeks to sit and stew about its 47-42 loss to Cal Lutheran. La Verne lost its opener to what looks like a very good Azusa Pacific team, also two weeks ago. La Verne’s running game looked much improved and that’s a good thing. It needs to do well there to have any chance at all of pulling a major upset and snapping its 12 game losing streak which dates back to the end of the 2008 season. Would love to call an upset here but it looks highly improbable.
In the community college ranks . . .
Chaffey (2-1) at Ventura (2-1), 6 p.m.
The Panthers are coming off a 17-13 loss to Saddleback which doesn’t look as dominating as it has been in the past. Chaffey has some nagging injuries, one of those an elbow injury to talented back Erin Madden who will probably be out a minimum of three weeks according to coach Carl Beach. That will hurt big time. Chaffey’s offense has not been firing on all cyclinders and it needs to here to get the win on the road.
Santa Monica (2-1) at San Bernardino Valley (0-2), 6 p.m.
A year ago this might have been an easy game but Santa Monica has improved, although its nonconference schedule has not been as challenging as some. The Wolverines had a lot of players banged up two weeks ago in the loss to Riverside. The key here may be how the secondary of SBVC holds up. It has been torched badly in the first two games. Coverages has to be better for the Wolverines to get the W!
Saddleback (2-1) at Victor Valley (0-3), 1 p.m.
The Rams continue their gauntlet of difficult nonconference games. This looks like the most winnable of the four with the trip to High Desert never an easy one for opponents. The Rams have had a revolving door at quarterback. Dave Hoover finally settled on one – Courtney Patton. But he injured an ankle last week and is questionable. Even if he does go the injury will probably take away some of his mobility which is his strong suit. So the Rams will probably be hard-pressed to pull this one off.
The NCAA Division II American Volleyball Coaches Association poll came out today like it always does on Mondays throughout the season. It is puzzling to say the least.
The University of Tampa (Fla.) remains No. 1 as it should.
But Cal State San Bernardino (7-1) dropped from No. 2 to No. 5 even though it won both matches this week by 3-0 sweeps. One of those wins was a three-game shellacking of Cal State Los Angeles which had been No. 17.
It is understandable for one team to leapfrog another if it posts a quality win, maybe one over a top 10 team but that wasn’t the case.
The teams leaping over Cal State were Minnesota-Duluth, which went from fourth to second with three wins, all over unranked teams. No powerhouses in that trio.
Southwest Minnesota State which went from fifth to third with two wins, one over No. 14 Minnesota State.
And Wayne State which beat two nothings, one 3-0 and 3-1.
With Cal State’s history and the entire team back from one that went to the national semifinal a year ago, the Coyotes did not deserve to drop without losing. Coach Kim Cherniss has to be laughing. She never reads much into the polls anyway. The Coyotes showing on the court will say it all.
It has been a wacky season already when it comes to volleyball in the CCAA. And the season has barely started. Cal State San Bernardino (7-1, 4-0) sits on top. That is to be expected. It is what has happened with the other teams that has to be a bit puzzling.
Let’s start with UC San Diego. The Tritons are the Coyotes’ long-time rival. They are the team the Coyotes have to beat in the conference and in the West Region. Like Cal State, San Diego seems to have a permanent spot among the top handful of teams in the nation. But the Tritons are just 5-4 overall and 2-3 in CCAA play. The losses are to Cal State East Bay, Monterey Bay and San Francisco State – all middle tier teams last year. They haven’t even played San Bernardino, Cal State Los Angeles or Chico State yet.
San Diego did have a coaching change. Maybe the athletes have not adjusted to a new system or a new coaching style. It doesn’t play the Coyotes till the next to last game of the first round so my guess is they should have their act together by then.
Then there is East Bay(8-2, 3-2) which is only a year into it’s move from Division III to Division II. The Pioneers played an easy nonconference schedule so the jury was still out. Then they beat the Tritons, giving that early run some legitimacy. But then they lost their next match to up-and-coming San Francisco.
Then there is Cal Poly Pomona (3-5, 1-3). The Broncos have had some very good years. Even in harder times, they have been competitive. Then Friday they go out and lose to lowly Cal State Dominguez Hills. To put that in perspective, Dominguez is 1-8 this year, the only win coming over Cal Poly. The Toros were 2-27 overall last season. In the last five years they are 19-117 overall and 11-87 in CCAA play.
That gives new meaning to the words “bad loss.”