By Ryan Libby |Staff Writer|
Woman’s Volleyball Coach Kim Cherniss has built a dynasty here at CSUSB.
Now in her 22nd year, Cherniss continues to recruit dynamic players in an effort to put together a perfect team.
“We want dynamic athleticism,” said Cherniss. “Be exceptional in some regard whether it’s your jumping ability, your speed, your height, your volleyball IQ, your execution level, your experience level, be dynamic in some regard because then if you find enough of those pieces then you can put together a puzzle that has championship qualities.”
It’s safe to say that the “puzzle” is slowly coming together this year.
Entering this season, Cherniss has gone 123-10 since 2008 and over her career she has won the CCAA division six consecutive seasons [nine times overall] while coaching 25 AVCA All-Americans as well as nine Daktronics All-Americans.
Cherniss credits her teams for those monstrous statistics.
“Your team has to do well and then statistically you have to measure up and that usually can’t happen unless your team is playing at a very high level,” Cherniss said while talking about being an All-American volleyball player at UCR and coaching All-Americans at CSUSB.
Attracting the top players in the country is one of Cherniss’ skills, but it is not as easy as it seems.
Division II schools have different rules that they must follow when trying to recruit athletes than Division I schools and sometimes the scholarship difference keeps players from wanting to play for a Division II school.
“In California, for volleyball, it’s tough because there is some of the best Division I volleyball [teams] in the country here in California and they have 12 full scholarships so they could literally scholarship the six kids who are sitting on the bench,” said Cherniss.
The players on the bench are who Cherniss looks to add when trying to find the best players to fit her team’s needs.
“Those are our candidates,” Cherniss said.
“Look, if you’re going to start for a Pac-12 school I get it. If you’re going to start for a school in the Big West, I get it. But if you’re going to sit on the bench there and maybe be a superstar here, let’s talk.”
What about the players on her bench?
There are only six starting spots in volleyball and with the team as good as it has been over the years it may be hard for some of Cherniss’ players to find playing time.
“We really make it a point that every kid on this team is really important,” said Cherniss. “We have great team chemistry. We value everyone. We don’t put up with any elitist or diva behavior whatsoever and the team values each other. That’s really what makes it worthwhile for those kids.”
Cherniss also contributes her involvement within the community as part of her continuous success. She helps run a volleyball club with her associate head coach Danny Scott in Rancho Cucamonga as well as coaching her own summer volleyball youth camp at CSUSB.
The Coyotes are lucky; Cherniss has no plans on leaving anytime soon.
“This is home for me. I love this. I built this program,” Cherniss said.
The Coyotes play their next game in Carson Friday, Oct. 19 against Cal State Dominguez Hills.