Nov. 20, 2009

Top-seeded Cal State San Bernardino advanced to the NCAA Div. II West Region semifinals for the 10th consecutive year Thursday night with a 3-0 sweep of No. 8 seed Seattle Pacific in the tournament quarterfinals at the Coyotes gym.

A crowd of 485 fans cheered as CSUSB took control early with a 9-0 run to start the match and went on to take the match 25-13, 25-19, 25-16 to improve to 30-1 on the season equaling the program's record for single-season wins in Division II. The win was also the team's 29th straight at home.

The Falcons, the runnerup team in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, closed out the season 16-12 officially and 17-12 unofficially.

The Coyotes, champions of the California Collegiate Athletic Association for the fourth year in a row and ranked No. 2 in the nation, will take on GNAC champion Alaska-Anchorage, 23-6, which defeated Hawaii-Hilo 3-2, at 7:30 p.m. Friday night. UC San Diego faces Cal State L..A in the other semifinal at 5 p.m.

Senior outside hitter Ashtin Hall led the Coyotes with 13 kills on .345 hitting while all-CCAA first-team outside hitter Jane Chafeh had 10 kills and eight blocks. Sophomore Megan Johnson had seven kills and four blocks, two of them solo.

All-America setter Sara Hoffman finished with 34 assists.

Libero Camille Smith and outside hitter Morgan Carty combined for 26 digs as the Coyotes out hit the Falcons 40-25 on kills, 39-24 on assists and outblocked them 6-3.

Priscilla Collings and Kylie Johnson each had six kills for the Falcons, who hit .039 for the match while the Coyotes hit .245. Anna Herold has a team-high 11 digs. Shelby Swanson had 12 assists.

Coyotes Head Coach Kim Cherniss, the CCAA coach of the year and the 2008 NCAA Div. II coach of the year, said the match "illustrated why we (CCAA) are such a tough conference. We didn't hit for a huge number tonight, but the speed of the game, the intensity of the serving, the relentless defense and transition to offense and our foundation blocking is what we showed tonight. There was no relief for our opponent."

Cherniss said Hall "did a great job against their outside blocker and she passed very well."

Hall said this was one match with five to go to reach the team's goal of a national championship. "Whatever it takes, whoever it is that leads us, that's what we're about this season."

Falcons Coach Chris Johnson said that "after we spotted them 10 points we played pretty good sideout volleyball the rest of the match. I was proud of the way we kept battling and didn't back off our game plan. They (San Bernardino) were good servers and we were not in system very much. Our biggest problem is we became predictable. We were effective in the middle but we didn't have enough good passes."