The Cal State San Bernardino volleyball team coasted past UC San Diego 25-14, 25-11, 25-23 in the NCAA West Region semifinal Friday at Coussoulis Arena. The Coyotes will face Seattle Pacific in the 7 p.m. title tilt on Saturday with a berth in the Elite Eight on the line.
That’s pretty convincing. Think 6-0 in a soccer game or hockey game. It was that one-sided. The Coyotes played as well as they could possibly play in the first two games. The Tritons put up a mild fight in the third game to no avail.
Cal State (27-2 had a balanced attack as Nicole Moore had 10 kills and Jane Chafe nine. Then came Samantha Middleborn, Megan Johnson and Morgan Carty with seven each. That’s hard to beat. You can’t block five people. Johnson had seven block assists while Chafeh had a team-high 12 digs.
What was interesting was that both semifinals featured the most compelling rivalries in their respective conferences with Cal State and San Diego long time rivals in the California Collegiate Athletics Association with Western Washington and Seattle Pacific the equivalent in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference.
Seattle Pacific (26-2), led by Claremont High product Nikki Lowell, took a 3-2 win highlighted by15-11 finish in the pivotal game.
It will be interesting to see how the Falcons respond. It is the first time they have won a playoff game, let alone made it to the regional final. Cal State will be in the final for the 11th consecutive year with the balance of the roster have multiple appearances.
The Coyotes look like a determined bunch. Seattle Pacific will be a more formidable foe than what the Coyotes have seen the last two nights but it hasn’t faced a foe the caliber of Cal State yet.