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.
The Cal State San Bernardino volleyball team did as expected and defeated Brigham Young-Hawaii 3-0 (25-22, 25-14, 27-25) in the NCAA Division II west Region quarterfinal at Coussoulis Arena.
The first and third games were particularly entertaining. Give BYU credit for coming back in a the third game after getting pummeled in the second game. It was probably good for the Coyotes to get pushed a bit and should better prepare them for the matches that are to come.
Nicole Moore was the star on the night with 18 kills, including seven each of the first two games. Samantha Middleborn, named Most Valuable Player in the CCAA earlier in the day, added 10. Jane Chafeh had nine kills and 15 digs. Camille Smith, the topic of our feature story in Thursday’s paper, delivered 35 assists, 11 digs and three block assists.
Next up are the semifinals. Cal State will play its rival UC San Diego, which had no trouble disposing of Sonoma State. The Coyotes have beaten the Tritons twice 3-0.
The 5 p.m. semifinal will pit Western Washington against Seattle Pacific.
The Cal State San Bernardino volleyball team is warming up for its NCAA West Region quarterfinal against Brigham Young-Hawaii. The Coyotes (25-2) are seeded first and ranked sixth nationally.
The first three quarterfinals are in the books. At the risk of being called a homer, I don’t see a team that should beat the host Coyotes. And I did sit through all three earlier matches.
The other results:
No. 2 Seattle Pacific beat No. 6 Cal State Los Angeles 3-2 (25-23, 20-25, 23-25, 25-23, 15-6)
No. 3 Western Washington beat No. 6 Alaska-Anchorage 26-24, 25-12, 20-25, 25-20)
No. 4 UC San Diego easily beat No. 5 Sonoma State 3-0 (24-23, 25-14, 25-17)
The most disappointing match was probably the Sonoma-San Diego showdown. You expect a match between the 4 and 5 seeds to be the best match of the day, not the worst. San Diego gets the winner of this last match. So probably an All-CCAA matchup.
Seattle Pacific didn’t quite live up to billing. A No. 2 shouldn’t need five games to dispatch a No. 7.
In the early match, Anchorage had a lot of trouble with serve receiving and passing. Now in the post-season that really shouldn’t be an issue.
So it will be a conference rematch between Seattle Pacific and Western Washington.
A lot of these teams are young so expect most of them to be back next season. Sonoma and Anchorage have just one senior on their rosters. Seattle Pacific and San Bernardino have just two.