Stanislaus volleyball wins home finale, eyes CCAA tourney
The Stanislaus State volleyball program took another step forward on Tuesday in its 2015 home season finale as the Warriors swept Cal State East Bay in straight sets.
With the win, the Warriors put themselves a little closer to the reality of qualifying for the inaugural California Collegiate Athletic Association conference tournament in La Jolla as they improved to 15-9 overall and 9-9 in conference play. Stanislaus is currently in seventh place with two regular season matches to go this weekend. The top eight teams at the end of play on Saturday will earn a berth into the postseason event at UC San Diego.
The easiest scenario for Stanislaus to advance to the CCAA tournament is for Chico State to beat Humboldt State on Friday. Cal State Dominguez Hills would also have to lose one more match. Otherwise, it could come down to the regular season finale in Arcata on Saturday to determine the final spot in the eight-team tournament.
Jocelyn Cervantes led the Warriors with 12 kills in the Tuesday late afternoon's home win over Cal State East Bay, which lifted the Warriors to a 7-2 record at Fitzpatrick Arena in 2015. Cervantes also had nine digs, two aces and two block-assists for an nice all-around night.
Blair Ehrlich — hoping to earn another trip back home to the San Diego area — finished with 10 kills after a slow start. Sierrah Miller had 14 digs while Hailey Gruetzmacher picked up 11. Setter Maddi Seidl also had 11 digs to go with 15 assists (Kendal Munoz had 11 assists).
The Warriors got off to a slow start in set one allowing the Pioneers (5-22, 3-16 CCAA) to a 7-3 early lead. But Stan State did regroup and took over the set at 10-9 and rolled to the easy 25-14 win on an 11-4 run. The second set was much tighter, this time with CSUEB rallying late to make it interesting. A Kiani Rayford kill made it 24-21 and a couple of attacking errors by the Warriors had East Bay within one at 24-23. However, Cervantes finally put a shot away off of Pioneer blocks out of bounds to secure the second set.
Cal State East Bay was determined to stage another comeback in the third set much like what happened back on Sept. 22 in Hayward. The Warriors had a 2-0 lead before CSUEB won three straight sets for the upset win. But Stanislaus wasn't allowing that to happen again. After 16-16, the Warriors scored nine of the next 12 points to close out the contest. Ehrlich put away a couple of spikes and the match ended on a Hailey Gruetzmacher service ace.
The Warriors round out the regular season schedule on the road this weekend with matches at Sonoma State (Friday) and Humboldt State (Saturday).
Warriors No. 4 seed in West, return to Pomona
The Stanislaus State men's soccer team is heading to the NCAA Division II Championship — and back to Pomona.
For the second time in program history, the Warriors have qualified for the 38-team NCAA postseason tournament. They are the No. 4 seed in the West and will return to Pomona to face No. 5 Cal State L.A. Pomona was the site of the CCAA conference tournament this past weekend where host Cal Poly Pomona claimed its second straight title over the Warriors on Sunday.
Thursday's first round match versus Cal State L.A. (12-4-2) will be at 7 p.m. at Kellogg Field. The winner will face Cal Poly Pomona ( in the second round on Saturday at 7 p.m.
No. 2 seed Seattle Pacific has a first-round bye and will serve as host of one of the sites at Interbay Stadium. Teams traveling to Seattle are No. 6 Fresno Pacific (13-2-2) and No. 3 Cal State Dominguez Hills (13-2-3).
Stanislaus State (13-4-2) played conference foe Cal State L.A. on Oct. 29 in Turlock with the Golden Eagles winning 2-1 in overtime.
"We would have like to play somebody different and if you ask LA, they'd say the same thing," head coach Dana Taylor said. "But we are just thrilled to be in the NCAA tournament. It's going to be a great match, they are a great team and we will be ready."
Winners from each location will advance to a site to be determined. The highest remaining seed from the South Central region will host the third round on Nov. 19 or Nov. 20.
Stan State appeared in the 2012 tournament and won its first match in Hayward against Notre Dame de Namur, 3-2, before ending the year in a 2-1 tight match versus Simon Fraser.
Six current Warriors were part of that team and will carry the experience and leadership for this year's squad. Of the six NCAA-experienced Warriors — Josue Barajas, Gerardo Cazares, Daniel Kuczynski, Christian Madrigal, Jose Ramirez and Brady Taylor — five of them were freshmen with Kuzcynski a sophomore. Barajas, Cazares and Ramirez had spent a redshirt season in 2011.
"I am just so proud of the guys for making it this far," Taylor said. "For our seniors this will be their second time in four years they are in the NCAA tournament. This is a squad that's going to be prepared and is well-balanced. We are looking forward to the challenge.