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Alexander: CSUSB’s freshmen aren’t youngsters any more

By in Press Enterprise on December 7, 2017

By Jim Alexander

By the end of a college season, regardless of the sport, freshmen should no longer be wide-eyed and timid. If they’ve played a lot, especially, they’re as battle tested as anyone else in uniform.

Getting there, of course, can be the hard part.

But when Cal State San Bernardino’s volleyball Coyotes open the Division II national championships Thursday morning against Florida Southern in Pensacola, Fla. (10 a.m., video streaming at ncaa.com/liveschedule), they will have at least two freshmen on the floor to start. If circumstances work in their favor, they will have three.

And CSUSB coach Kim Cherniss had no problem trusting her freshmen from the very start.

“I know those kids, OK?” she said. “I was supremely confident in their volleyball ability, their athletic ability and their mindset.”

It helped that most of them had played for Rancho Valley Volleyball, the club run by Cherniss and her CSUSB assistants, Danny Scott and Mike Gutierrez.

  • Cal State San Bernardino’s Alexis Cardoza (3) pushes the ball over the net against Western Washington University during the NCAA Division II West Regional volleyball championship final at Van Dyne Gym Saturday in Riverside, CA. December 2, 2017. (TERRY PIERSON,THE PRESS-ENTERPRISE/SCNG)

  • Cal State San Bernardino's Leilia To'omalatai (3) passes the ball against Western Washington University during the NCAA Division II West Regional volleyball championship final at Van Dyne Gym Saturday in Riverside, CA. December 2, 2017. (TERRY PIERSON,THE PRESS-ENTERPRISE/SCNG)

    Cal State San Bernardino’s Leilia To’omalatai (3) passes the ball against Western Washington University during the NCAA Division II West Regional volleyball championship final at Van Dyne Gym Saturday in Riverside, CA. December 2, 2017. (TERRY PIERSON,THE PRESS-ENTERPRISE/SCNG)

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