By Zafiro Tellez |Staff Writer|
At a small desk inside the Coussoulis arena, in HP-204 there is a desk that is piled up with paperwork and picture frames of past victories that the school has seen.
This is where the magic happens; this is the room where Coach Kim Cherniss sits with her two associate coaches to discuss the strategy required to put together the best possible volleyball team.
Last Monday the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) named CSUSB’s volleyball team the best in the nation.
The players are talented without a doubt, but a large part of their success can be attributed to their legendary coach, Kim Cherniss.
“From the beginning I knew the coaching staff could make me into the best player that I could be. The program and the coach were just great,” said Priscilla Collings outside hitter for the team.
Coach Cherniss has worked as a coach for CSUSB for more than 20 years.
Whether her team is struggling or mowing down their competition, she always pushes her team to strive for the best.
“Kim made me appreciate the game more, she really takes the practices seriously and asks for the best from each player,” said outside hitter Brittney Paino.
Cherniss was awarded the 2008 AVCA NCAA Division II Coach of the Year award and she is a four-time AVCA West Region and CCAA Coach of the Year as well.
This past weekend the volleyball team went up against Humboldt and Sonoma State. The game versus Sonoma State proved to be a tough challenge, as CSUSB struggled to maintain their winning streak.
Cherniss described the game as being intense and crazy. She likes the challenge, though as she takes advantage of each opportunity to continuously teach and mentor her players.
“Its definitely a continuing learning process, I don’t ever feel like we aren’t learning anything. I think that what is most important is to demonstrate confidence in your team. Let them know that you trust them and that you think they are capable of doing anything,” said Cherniss.
Trust is one of the biggest factors that the players and the coaching staff stress each season.
“We have a great working relationship. I have been here long enough and this coaching staff makes it so easy to voice our concerns on the players. We all work very well together cohesively as a coaching team,” said associate head doach Danny Scott.
With so much pressure riding on the volleyball team’s success, Cherniss tries her best to take moments out of her busy life and to just sit down and clear her head from volleyball.
“I love to read, that’s one way that that I am able to turn my brain off. I literally read like two books per week. I’m a pretty fast reader,” said Cherniss.
This year’s volleyball season has been one for the ages so far.
The expectations for the remaining season and seasons to come are set sky high.
Much success can be credited to the coaching staff and especially to the head coach who through all the chaos is able to keep her head in the game.