By Justin Sandoval IStaff Writer|
After a disappointing loss Friday against the Sonoma State Seawolves, Coyote Volleyball dropped three spots to 18 in the National Rankings.
The Coyotes recovered quickly and fought strong against San Francisco State Gators, dominating in a 3-1 victory.
Captain Arielle McCullough said, “we are a very strong, hard-working team and no matter the win or loss, we walk into the gym with a strong attitude.”
The Coyotes remain in second place, behind the Seawolves in the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) conference. Had the Coyotes beaten the Seawolves, the two would have switched conference ranking.
“It was a big game, we knew we had to perform well in order to be successful,” McCullough said. “We definitely had our heads in the game and we were ready to go,” continued McCullough.
In the first play of the game, spike leader Alexander Torline from the Seawolves threw down a “statement” first point to begin the set.
Sonoma State answered and the rest of the set was fairly even.
The home crowd was shocked as the Seawolves gained momentum and won the set 22-25, and unfortunately, the Coyotes lost the second set in similar fashion.
In set two, the Coyotes just couldn’t get ahead, and they began to show signs of defeat losing the set.
The home crowd attempted to rally behind the Coyotes for one last set to extend the match.
The Student Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC) was there in full support, and attempted to raise their fellow Coyotes to victory.
Members of Men’s golf, cheer and dance, Women’s and Men’s soccer, and Women’s and Men’s basketball all supported the Coyotes and heckle the opposing Seawolves.
The Seawolves have dominated CCAA conference play and are getting serious consideration for National Ranking.
The Coyotes started the weekend in the 15th spot on the Division II College Volleyball Ranking, which was sure to drop after the disappointing loss on Friday.
Late in the third set, Seawolves’ Regan Richert threw down two game-changing kills for points 19 and 20, closing out their victory. “The Seawolves are a good team and we just couldn’t score. We needed to defend better, ” said McCullough.
Like in any sport, the team and player must be able to recover, and the Coyotes were ready to do so against the Gators.
“We prepare differently after a loss; it is clear as day where we struggled,” McCullough said, “the coaching staff knows where we struggled and that we need to work on specific areas of the game, in this case, the offensive side of the things.”
The first two sets were battled out fairly close against the Gators and was never out of reach for either team.
The Coyotes took the first set 25-22, and the Gators won the second 25-21.
Once the third set began, the Coyotes showed their powerhouse potential.
In response to their dominant play McCullough said, “every match is a new game, we walk into it ready for battle no matter who is on the other side of the net.”
The Coyotes won the next two sets versus the Gators 25-15, and 25-16, respectively.
The rebound from a loss was huge for the Coyotes, as they remained nationally ranked, having dropped only three spots to 18.
When asked about a national title, McCullough said “this is the team to bring San Bernardino a national title; nothing will break us, the mentality and heart on this team are indescribable.”