By Megan Acuna |Staff Writer|
Our Coyote volleyball team landed first place in their conference after they ended the first half of CCAA play despite their weekend loss to Cal State East Bay and comeback win against Cal State Monterey Bay Oct. 12 and Oct. 13.
After an eight game winning streak, the Lady Yotes gave up a win at home in the Coussoulis Arena in an intense game against Cal State East Bay that went all the way to the fifth set.
Head Coach Kim Cherniss believes this loss hasn’t affected the team’s momentum.
“It was a wake up call and a learning experience. The girls took the loss to heart and the intensity during practice is very high,” said Cherniss.
The Coyotes had the advantage as they won the first two sets 25-20 and 25-19, but the Pioneers found momentum in the third set and the Coyotes weren’t able to overtake them after that.
The Pioneers won the final three sets 25-21, 25-22, and 15-7.
Freshman outside hitter Alexandra Torline led the team with 16 kills and fellow Freshman middle blocker Brenna McIntosh led the Coyotes with one solo block and and four block assists. All-American Senior setter Camille Smith led a tremendous 39 assists.
Three of the Yotes reached double digits in digs with Sophomore libero Arielle McCullough leading the way with 19. Junior outside hitter Danielle Newcombe had 14 and Camille Smith had 12 digs.
The day after this disappointing loss, the Coyotes came back to defeat the Cal State Monterey Bay Otters at home in three sets at 25-17, 25-17 and 25-19.
Brenna McIntosh led the team with 12 kills, one ace, and four blocks while Alexandra Torline returned with nine kills and four blocks. Senior middle blocker Mercedes Winchester added eight kills and four blocks to the Coyote’s stats. Freshman designated server Jordan Ortega stood out from the pack with four service aces against the Otters.
Arielle McCullough led the team with 14 digs while Danielle Newcombe and Camille Smith added eight each. Smith continued to dominate and led the team with 34 assists.
These recent games brought the Coyote’s record to 12-7 overall and 9-2 in CCAA play. Coach Cherniss seems very hopeful that the Coyotes will keep up their streak, but also takes into account how tough their opponents are.
“Finishing first in CCAA is the team’s objective. We’ve managed to hold the first place spot in the first half of conference play, but the conference is very close to make that call right now,” said Cherniss.
To play well as a team and keep the wins coming, players need to have chemistry together and have good camaraderie. Cherniss reiterates that the team is still young and continually learning but “they have a really good atmosphere in the gym during practice.”