Big time players find a way to shine when the stage is at its most critical point.
All the Huntington Beach native accomplished was four kills and a solo block for a personal five-point run in the waning moments of the final set in the Coyotes’ 3-0 win over the Wildcats (25-22, 25-18, 25-23).
The victory places the top-seeded Coyotes, now 26-5 overall, in Friday night’s semifinal match against fourth-seeded Sonoma State (26-5). First serve is 7:30 p.m.
No. 3 seed UC San Diego and No. 2 BYU Hawaii begin semifinal play at 5 p.m. Both matches are in The Den.
It seemed almost improbable that the Coyotes could have earned the third set. Down 23-19, they cut the gap with a CWU service error and that’s when Torline went to work.
She threw down a kill, then after CWU timeout, she blistered a solo block. Another kill tied the set at 23-23, and she added two more for good measure.
“The thing that I see in this team, maybe more than others, is that they live for the fight,” Coyotes coach Kim Cherniss said. “It’s not just directed from me and they follow. They are self-motivated to dig and get it done.
“That’s what happened tonight.”
Junior MB Tori May was equally impressive on the night with a match-high 15 kills and a .542 attack percentage.
CSUSB never trailed in the first set, but the Wildcats came back twice to tie the set – at 21-21 and 22-22.
May gave her team a one-point lead with a kill, then Danielle Newcombe fired off an ace. The set then belonged to CSUSB after a Wildcat attack error.
CSUSB opened a 5-0 lead in the second and again, never trailed for a 2-0 lead.
In the third, the set was tied nine times until CWU pulled ahead after two Coyotes’ attack errors at 13-11.
Four times, CWU held leads as large as four and the last was 23-19 after a block assist by Kaitlin Quirk and Emmy Dolan.
A Coyote timeout apparently worked because that set the tone with Torline at the helm.
Sophomore MB Brenna McIntosh had 11 kills and four block assists. Senior setter Stephanie Sinohui had 45 assists and junior libero Arielle McCullough, the school’s single-season digs leader, had 16.
CWU finished its season 15-12.
NCAA Division II West Region Tournament, remaining schedule:
Friday, Dec. 6
- 5 p.m. – UCSD vs. BYU-Hawaii
- 7:30 p.m. – Sonoma State vs. CSUSB
Saturday, Dec. 7
- 7 p.m.
Keep up with the latest sports news at Coyote Athletics.