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Alexander: Coyotes finish the job in West Regional final

By in Press Enterprise on December 3, 2017

By Jim Alexander

RIVERSIDE —There is this about Cal State San Bernardino’s volleyball Coyotes. Even when they’re down, it’s tough to finish them off.

CSUSB swept Western Washington Saturday night in the Division II West Regional championship match at Cal Baptist’s Van Dyne Gym, but that sounds so much simpler than it actually was.

The Coyotes were down 12-8 in the first set and stormed back. They finished off the second set with five straight points.

And they saved their best for last. San Bernardino trailed 20-11, used a 9-1 run to get back into the set, and finished it out on Lauren Nicholson’s kill, her 18th of the match.

The Coyotes (24-7) advance to next week’s Division II national championship tournament in Pensacola, Fla., which begins Thursday. Western Washington finished its season 27-4.

CSUSB got to Saturday by taking out Cal Baptist, the national No.1 going into the tournament, 25-21, 17-25, 25-21, 25-22 late Friday night.

Much as is the case with Western Washington, CSUSB lost to Cal Baptist early in the season as well, in the same tournament in fact: the West Regional Showcase at Anchorage.

The Coyotes were a different club then because of injuries, particularly one to junior setter Jayann DeHoog, who has averaged 9.42 assists per set and was a second team all-conference selection even though she missed the season’s first three weeks.

The Coyotes started out 5-5, but have won 12 in a row and 18 out of 20 going into Saturday night’s match.

“It was really unfortunate that I didn’t get to play at the beginning of the season,” DeHoog said after Friday night’s match. “But it just made me look forward and be excited, knowing when I could come back and what I could do on the court. It made me that much more excited and determined.”

DeHoog, an All-CCAA first-team selection and honorable […]    

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