Nov. 19, 2010

Courtesy of Cal State San Bernadino Athletics

SAN BERNARDINO -- Head coach Kim Cherniss knew that her Cal State San Bernardino volleyball team would have its hands full against opening-round foe BYU-Hawaii in the NCAA Division II West Regional match Thursday.

She was right on the money as the visiting Seasiders gave the sixth-ranked Coyotes all they could handle, but her squad went on to earn a 3-0 victory before a crowd of 573 at Coussoulis Arena.

Behind senior Nicole Moore's 18 kills and .355 attack percentage, the Coyotes earned a 25-22, 25-14, 27-25 victory and for the 11th consecutive year, they have earned an NCAA first-round victory.

"It was an exciting match to watch,'' said Cherniss, whose team has now won its last 44 contests inside Coussoulis. "I can't say enough about BYU-Hawaii. They played great team defense. They defended as well or better than any team we faced thus far. They had a great serve-and-pass game and were very physical on defense.''

CSUSB opened a slim margin late in set one. It led 20-18, but the Seasiders tied the set on a kill from Lauren Hagemeyer and a ball handling error from Coyotes setter Camille Smith.

Smith then redeemed herself with a kill on the next point and Moore followed with a kill and CSUSB led 22-20. A kill from junior All-American Samantha Middleborn put CSUSB up 23-21 and it later earned the win on a kill from Moore and an ace from Smith.

In set two, the Coyotes never trailed and benefited from BYUH's negative .062 attack percentage and seemed to be in control.

But the Seasiders never quit in set three and made things interesting.

BYUH held a 20-17 lead before momentum found its way for the Coyotes. Three straight attack errors from the Seasiders allowed the Coyotes to tie the set at 20-20.

The set would be tied five more times down the stretch. BYUH led 24-23 after Hagemeyer's kill, but the Coyotes tied it up on Moore's kill. She added another one and the Coyotes had a shot at the win at 25-24, but Nobuko Kotoyori earned a kill to tie at 25-25.

Block assists from junior Megan Johnson and Smith put CSUSB up by one and it earned the victory on a service ace from Smith.

"I fell we have been playing consistently,'' Smith said. "Now that it's the regional, we just want to win.''

Middleborn had 10 kills, while Smith added 35 assists and 11 digs. Junior Morgan Carty also had 11 digs and senior All-American Jane Chafeh led with 15 digls and nine kills.

Losaline Faka'osi led the Seasiders, champions of the Pacific West Conference, with 11 kills. BYUH finished its season 16-8.