Cal State-San Bernardino Defeats Truman to reach NCAA DII Championship Match
ST. PAUL, Minn. - California State University San Bernardino made school history on Friday evening, making a berth in the institution's first NCAA national championship event. The feat came following a 3-0 win over #8 Truman State (25-23, 25-18, 25-23). Jessica Granados led the Coyotes to their 30th season win by downing 14 kills and collecting 11 digs. She also had five block assists. CSUSB will face the winner between Concordia University/Grand Valley State in the national championship match on Saturday at 7:00 pm at the Gangelhoff Center in St. Paul, Minn.
Truman State pressured the Coyotes into two tight sets before giving up their first national semifinal loss. The squad made the semis in 2002 and 2004 and advanced to the title match both years. This season, however, the Bulldog hitters struggle to put balls past the Coyote defense and hit just .080 on the night. Cal State San Bernardino totaled 11 blocks in the win.
CSUSB marked 41 kills with a .164 hitting average on their way to the win. They had 52 digs to TSU's 49. Both teams committed eight serving errors. The Coyotes played the most consistent in the second set, not allowing a sizeable Bulldog run in the 25-18 win. Their hitting errors and TSU's ability to use the block kept the first and third sets close.
Granados was the only player in the match to enter double figures for kills. After a stellar performance in the quarterfinals, Sara Rice came in second on the team with nine kills in the semifinal. Samantha Middleborn led her team with six block assists. Meghan Haas topped all players with 21 digs for the Coyotes, followed by Granados with 11. Setter Sara Hoffman had 35 assists.
Truman State senior Eli Medina and junior Lauren Graybeal each had a team high seven kills for the Bulldogs. Medina also had ten digs. The squad's defensive leader was senior Whitney Boehler with 12 digs.
CSUSB Match Notes: CSUSB advances to the NCAA Division II national championship for the first time in school history, in any sport ... this is CSUSB's 14th appearance in the NCAA tournament (9 in DII, 5 in DIII) ... CSUSB's appearance in the national semifinals is its second appearance (last in 2003) ... senior rightside hitter Jessica Granados finishes with a match-high in kills for second-straight match in the Championship Tournament ...Granados finished with 14 kills (14k-6e-40a, .200).
Truman Match Notes: This was Truman State's 10th appearance in the NCAA Championship and ninth consecutive appearance ... This was the Bulldogs' third semifinal appearance ... They were runners-up in 2002 and 2004 ... TSU was 12-8 this season versus NCAA Championship qualifiers and 2-2 versus teams reaching the Elite Eight ... TSU was 2-3 at the Gangelhoff Center this year ... The Bulldogs had won 12 consecutive matches before tonight's loss ... TSU had lost just five sets during its 12-match winning streak ... They were 23-3 in three-set matches ... The Bulldogs were 29-1 when winning the first set and 4-7 when losing the first set ... TSU was 8-8 versus ranked opponents this season ... The Bulldogs were 33-3 when holding opponents to under .250 hitting percentage ... They were 1-6 on the season when being outhit.
Article courtesy of Concordia St. Paul athletics.