Nov. 21, 2009

* Courtesy of Cal State San Bernardino Athletics

Cal State San Bernardino fought off a valiant effort by University of Alaska Anchorage in the first two sets and advanced to the NCAA Division II West Regional volleyball championship match for the 10th straight year with a 3-0 sweep of the Seawolves in the Coyotes gym.

The Coyotes, the California Collegiate Athletic Association champions and seeded No. 1 in the region, improved to 31-1 on the season while the Seawolves, champions of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference ended their season at 23-7.

San Bernardino will face fellow CCAA member Cal State L.A. (23-8) for the region title at 7 p.m. Saturday in Coyote Gymnasium.

A crowd of 449 fans jammed the auxiliary gym on the CSUSB campus to watch the Coyotes squeak by in the first two sets, 25-22. 25-22 before pulling away from a 14-10 advantage to take set three 25-13.

It was the 30th straight home victory for the Coyotes, extending a streak that began at the start of the 2008 season.

All-CCAA first-team pick Jane Chafeh led the Coyotes with 17 kills on .429 hitting while sophomore middle blocker Samantha Middleborn had nine kills on .467 hitting. Sophomore middle Megan Johnson had six kills and six block assists. Sophomore Morgan Carty came through with six kills and five block assists. All-America setter Sara Hoffman had 37 assists and freshman libero Camille Smith collected a match-high 13 digs.

Jackie Matthisen led the Seawolves with 12 kills. Calli Scott had 24 assists.

CSUSB hit .372 for the match and .577 in the first set while the Seawolves hit .198 for the match. The Coyotes led in kills 48-29, assists 45-27, digs 35-26 and edged the blocking line of the Seawolves 7-6. The match was tied 16 times, 15 occasions over the last two sets and there were eight lead changes.

"We talked a lot about keeping our composure tonight when they attacked and to play for another swing. They (Alaska Anchorage) played very well and served well, too," said Head Coach Kim Cherniss.

Cherniss went on to commend Seawolves Coach Chris Green. "He is doing a good job tactically. Both teams to a lot of the same things but the difference tonight was that were taking some swings with more heat on them."

Asked if her players are feeling the pressure of measuring up to the previous nine teams that advanced to regional title games - three of which won and went to the national tournament, Cherniss replied, "I don't think this team is feeling the pressure."

Johnson chimed in, "I was just pumped up tonight and having fun."

Cal State San Bernardino fought off a valiant effort by University of Alaska Anchorage in the first two sets and advanced to the NCAA Division II West Regional volleyball championship match for the 10th straight year with a 3-0 sweep of the Seawolves in the Coyotes gym.

The Coyotes, the California Collegiate Athletic Association champions and seeded No. 1 in the region, improved to 31-1 on the season while the Seawolves, champions of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference ended their season at 23-7.

San Bernardino will face fellow CCAA member Cal State L.A. (23-8) for the region title at 7 p.m. Saturday in Coyote Gymnasium.

A crowd of 449 fans jammed the auxiliary gym on the CSUSB campus to watch the Coyotes squeak by in the first two sets, 25-22. 25-22 before pulling away from a 14-10 advantage to take set three 25-13.

It was the 30th straight home victory for the Coyotes, extending a streak that began at the start of the 2008 season.

All-CCAA first-team pick Jane Chafeh led the Coyotes with 17 kills on .429 hitting while sophomore middle blocker Samantha Middleborn had nine kills on .467 hitting. Sophomore middle Megan Johnson had six kills and six block assists. Sophomore Morgan Carty came through with six kills and five block assists. All-America setter Sara Hoffman had 37 assists and freshman libero Camille Smith collected a match-high 13 digs.

Jackie Matthisen led the Seawolves with 12 kills. Calli Scott had 24 assists.

CSUSB hit .372 for the match and .577 in the first set while the Seawolves hit .198 for the match. The Coyotes led in kills 48-29, assists 45-27, digs 35-26 and edged the blocking line of the Seawolves 7-6. The match was tied 16 times, 15 occasions over the last two sets and there were eight lead changes.

"We talked a lot about keeping our composure tonight when they attacked and to play for another swing. They (Alaska Anchorage) played very well and served well, too," said Head Coach Kim Cherniss.

Cherniss went on to commend Seawolves Coach Chris Green. "He is doing a good job tactically. Both teams to a lot of the same things but the difference tonight was that were taking some swings with more heat on them."

Asked if her players are feeling the pressure of measuring up to the previous nine teams that advanced to regional title games - three of which won and went to the national tournament, Cherniss replied, "I don't think this team is feeling the pressure."

Johnson chimed in, "I was just pumped up tonight and having fun."

Chafeh, ranked among the top five in the nation in kills per set, said, "We are all just confident in ourselves and the way we're playing."