Camosun caps opening weekend with record wins
(ISN) – They say that good things come to those who wait, and wait they did. The rivalry between Camosun and VIU spans over 20 years deep and on Friday night, in front of a roaring crowd of fans that ran near 400, the Chargers women’s volleyball team opened the 2014-15 PACWEST season with a first-time ever win over the Mariners, ending their streak of defeats with the Island program and marking the beginning of a whole new era.
The Chargers not only won Friday’s match – they defeated their opponents in straight sets (25-17, 25-23, 25-22). Leading the charge to Friday’s record-breaking win was second-year outside hitter Erika Morris (Prince George) who scored 14 points with 10 kills, 1 block and 3 aces. Fourth-year middle Morgan Marshall from Smithers had 9 points (3 kills, 5 blocks, 1 ace) and Kathryn Fetting (Lethbridge), a third-year outside hitter worked in 6 kills, 1 block and 2 aces.
The following day, the squad travelled up Island to face off against the Mariners at the VIU campus gym. Despite numerous pressures and a raucous crowd, something VIU is renowned for, the Chargers capped off another win, this time taking the match in four (25-16, 23-25, 26-16, 25-18) and sweeping the weekend. Morgan Marshall led the way with 14 points (9 kills, 4 blocks, 1 ace), followed by Erika Morris who had 12 (8 kills, 3 blocks, 1 ace). Fifth-year outside hitter Hilary Graham contributed 11 points (10 kills, 1 ace) to help the Chargers to their second victory of the weekend.
“For the first time in 20 years we defeated our up Island rival,” says Chargers Women’s Head Coach Chris Dahl. “We didn’t do this just once, but we swept the weekend against an opposition that consistently sets the benchmark for our conference. Our athletes played with confidence and composure throughout the weekend. I was impressed. Matches at this early stage in the season can be difficult to navigate. Performance levels are variable… we maintained focus and drive throughout.”
On the men’s side, Head Coach Charles Parkinson and his hard-hitting Chargers squad split their weekend matches, swallowing a 0-3 loss to the Mariners on Friday (11-15, 24-26-19-25), before cranking out a four-set win on Saturday (23-25, 25-16, 25-22, 25-21).
“It was great to steal a win in VIU’s home gym, returning the favor that they took from us the night before,” comments Chargers Men’s Head Coach Charles Parkinson. “We are still trying different combinations of players and are also experimenting with players in different positions. We learned a lot from our first encounter and found a winning combination last night with each of the players contributing in significant ways.”
Key playmakers in Saturday’s victory included fourth-year Alex Sadowski (Belmont) who was a tower of power in the middle and contributed 20 points on 15 kills, 3 blocks and 2 ace serves. Rian Plante (Comox) made his finest performance of the last two seasons notching 14 kills and 2 blocks and transfer Tyler Remenda from Calgary showed his bronze medal form from last season chipping in 5 points and 5 digs and passing a 2.3 (out of 3) on 23 balls.
Rookies Doug Waterman (6’5″ middle from Belmont) and libero Mitch Jessen (Richmond) had great nights while second-year Pacific Christian product Cam Fennema scored 13 points in both weekend contests in his rise as one of the premier outside attackers in the PACWEST Conference.
“All in all it was a stellar performance and the 45 team digs showed that the systems we have been working on for the past 6 weeks are starting to pay dividends,” reports Coach Parkinson.
Next up, the Chargers are on the road to face off against the Douglas College Royals in New Westminster. Despite a number of graduating student departures, the Douglas men’s squad remains a dangerous team with experienced players in many positions.
“Douglas is one of the most disciplined teams in the league and does the small things well like closing the block, covering the open zones and moving effectively on transition,” comments Coach Parkinson. “We will need to be equally as disciplined within our offensive and defensive systems to be successful and we will have to be superior in our first contacts – serving and passing. This really sets up our offense and defense and our game plan is predicated on effective execution in these areas. Blessed with a deep line-up, we expect to be able to put any of our athletes on the floor and be equally as successful next week.”
With a record pair of wins enhancing their momentum, the Chargers women are focused on preparing for the task on hand as PACWEST volleyball heads into the second week of conference play.
“While we encourage our student-athletes to celebrate all of their accomplishments and experiences within the program, they are highly motivated to continue moving forward towards their personal and collective best. I have no doubt we’ll put in another great week of training and competition.”