The Cal State San Bernardino volleyball team is taking aim at yet another CCAA title. For those keeping track, it has won seven in a row and nine of the last 11. That’s a pretty formidable streak in any sport, let alone in a conference as tough as the CCAA.
The Coyotes return the balance of a roster of a team that advanced to the NCAA Division II West Regional a year ago. That’s the good news.
The bad news is one of the few the Coyotes lost was their setter – two-time All-American Camille Smith. Her absence is huge. Not only was she a top-notch setter, she was perhaps the team’s top defensive player as well as a key blocker, something not usually the norm for a setter.
Coach Kim Cherniss has two athletes she is using there right now, senior Stephanie Sinohui and freshman Hannah Liserra. Sinohui played behind Smith so she didn’t see a lot of action. Both show potential but Liserra is the future.
Cherniss is one of the best in the business. By the ed of the season the Coyotes will likely be where they need to be to challenge for another spot in the Elite Eight.
The Coyotes are 11-4, but an impressive 7-0 in conference play. What’s worth noting is that of those seven wins, six have come on the road and they have already secured wins at Sonoma State and San Francisco State, among others. That means the schedule will be loaded with home games the second half of conference play.
So it doesn’t look like the balance of power is shifting any time soon.