Coyotes off to nationals for third straight year

The Cal State San Bernardino volleyball team did what was expected and chalked up a 15-22, 25-22, 25-14 win over Seattle Pacific in the NCAA Division II West championship match at Coussoulis Arena.

Seattle Pacific was tough, especially for a team that before this season had never won a playoff game in school history. But the focused Coyotes were on a mission and no team was going to stand in the way.
The Coyotes won all three of their regional matches 3-0 and 23 of their 28 wins this season have come in sweeps.
Nicole Moore had 15 kills and Samantha Middleborn 10. Both made the All-Tournament team along with fellow Coyotes Camille Smith, Megan Johnson and Jane Chafeh.
Seattle Pacific has a nice freshman middle blocker in Nikki Lowell, who hails from Claremont. She had nine kills, three solo blocks and six block assists. Look for her to lead the Falcons back next year.
Now its on to nationals for the Coyotes. Their next opponent . . . Concordia St. Paul. That’s the same team that beat them in a five-set thriller in 2008 and the national semifinal in 2009.
The good thing for the Coyotes is that there will be no packing of the winter garb for a trip to Minnesota. This year the event will be on neutral ground in Louisville, Ky. I like their chances.
After Saturday’s match players talked about the match-up. They say they got a little too wrapped up in the revenge factor last year after the heartbreak the previous year. That only added to the pressure. This year they are just focused on their own game and won’t let who they are playing distract from the ultimate goal.
Call that a lesson in maturity.

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