Nov. 20, 2008

Courtesy Cal St. San Bernardino Athletics

SAN BERNARDINO, CA. - Host Cal State San Bernardino made it an all-California Collegiate Athletic Association final four at the NCAA Division II West Regional women's volleyball tournament Thursday night with a 3-0 victory over Pacific West Champion BYU-Hawaii.

The Coyotes (26-3), the No. 1 seed in the tournament, dominated from the start, winning 25-14, 25-15 and 25-12 while hitting a lights-out .506 percentage against the No. 8 Seasiders (16-9).. It was the third highest team hitting percentage in a match in the history of the program.

All-CCAA first-team middle blocker Sara Rice had a match-high 12 kills and three block assists while hitting .632 (12 of 19 with no hitting errors). 2008 CCAA MVP Jessica Granados chipped in 11 kills on .429 hitting with three block assists.

All-CCAA first-team setter Sara Hoffman had 36 assists. Sophomore Jane Chafeh had nine kills on .750 hitting with four blocks. All-CCAA first-team libero Meghan Haas had a match-high 13 digs.

Losaline Faka'osi, just a freshman, led the Seasiders with nine kills. LeeAnn Mapu had 16 assists while freshman Lacey Laycock chipped in nine assists. Melanie Manutai had a team-high eight digs.

The Coyotes had 13 total blocks to just six for BYU-Hawaii.

Asked if an easy victory would take the edge off the Coyotes as they now prepare to face CCAA foe Chico State in Friday's semifinals at 7:30 p.m., Rice, the 6-foot senior from Yucaipa, said "We played our best so I think it helped us get us ready for what's to come."

Head Coach Kim Cherniss said in the past there have been times when her team has wished it could play this team or that team or hoped that a certain team would lose before facing CSUSB. "Now, we don't care who's on the other side. We want to win and that's the way we're going to play."

Of Chico State, a 3-0 winner of Sonoma State in the quarterfinals, Cherniss said, "They are playing inspired volleyball. It's going to be a very good match."

Cherniss was happy about the play of Chafeh. "I think she's peaking right now," said Cherniss. "Nine kills and no errors...she has been working very hard and we've pushed her very hard and she has really responded."