(ISN) – It was a weekend of mixed results for the Chargers volleyball teams who travelled to Abbotsford to battle in the Bearcats’ den. While the women won back-to-back matches to advance to a tie for 1st place, the men suffered two hard-fought defeats and remain tied for 2nd.
The Chargers women swept the January 23-24 weekend against CBC, collecting their second-consecutive weekend of back-to-back straight set wins. Heading into Week 11 of PACWEST competition, Camosun is tied for 1st place with Capilano at 14 wins and 2 losses. Despite taking down their opponents 3-0 in both matches (Fri: 25-21, 25-22, 25-18 and Sat: 25-21, 25-18, 27-25), Camosun credits the B’Cats for their tenacity and talent.
“The Bearcats’ play far exceeded their PACWEST record and standing this weekend,” asserts Chargers Women’s Volleyball Head Coach Chris Dahl. “My hat goes off to them. Our execution can improve, but our opposition deserves a lot of credit… they made us work for our points and we had to adjust as the match went along. CBC took care of parts of the game that would challenge any opposition.”
Fifth-year vet Hilary Graham (Courtenay) led the Chargers to victory with a two-day total of 18 kills, 5 aces and 1 block. And while not often listed at the top of statistical reports, third-year middle Lainey Jantzi was also a key factor in this past weekend’s wins.
“Lainey takes care of the little things with incredible consistency,” comments Coach Dahl. “Her movement patterns and ability to close the block with disciplined hand position set the stage for our transition game. She has an on-court presence and voice on the floor that reflects what we value in our program. She’s a tremendous asset to the program and has been consistently during the PACWEST season.”
The weekend was not as successful for the Chargers men who dropped both matches to a newly improved Bearcats squad. Despite a mammoth effort in both contests, Camosun could not fend off CBC’s attack and was taken down in a heart-breaking five-setter on Friday (25-21, 26-24, 18-25, 18-25, 15-13) before succumbing to Saturday’s three-set kill (25-16, 25-20, 25-19). Friday’s loss marks Camosun’s fourth loss of the season and the end of the Charger’s 10-match winning streak. Camosun is now 11-5 and remains tied for 2nd place with VIU.
“This weekend we faced a Columbia College team bolstered by the arrival of three blue chip players after Christmas,” comments Chargers Men’s Volleyball Head Coach Charles Parkinson. “Offensively and defensively, our two teams are very competitive, however, from the service line the difference was night and day. Four of their six starters have lethal spin serves and throughout the weekend they were in the groove on their home court. Our passers had a great deal of difficulty handling the heat and as a result couldn’t get the ball consistently to our setter to run the attack. Despite going down two sets to zero on Friday, we hung in and clawed our way to victory in sets three and four, only to lose a heartbreaker 15-13 in the fifth. It was a great match and featured some amazing rallies. On Saturday CBC amped up their serving game even more and simply overpowered our passers. Falling three straight sets is never easy but it shows us the type and amount of work that we still need to do.”
Second-year rightside, Rian Plante (Comox), was Camosun’s most consistent and aggressive attacker, packing in a weekend total of 27 offensive points (25 kills and 2 blocks) and 13 digs. Fourth-year middle Alex Sadowski (Belmont) had a great game from the service line and dropped some bombs of his own on the CBC court, posting 20 points over the weekend (8 kills, 7 blocks, 5 aces).
This weekend, the Chargers volleyball teams play host to the Douglas College Royals. Tied at #1 (with Capilano), the Camosun women take on the 6th place Royals who are 4-12.
“Douglas is another PACWEST team that although lower in the standings at present, is working at improving their game and finding their rhythm,” says Coach Dahl. “It doesn’t matter what phase of the season you’re in, teams put in the time and commitment to improve. I expect Douglas to come in focused and determined in their attempt to pick up a pair of wins. Our job is to prepare well and continue to move closer to peak performance. Hosting the PACWEST Championships is drawing nearer and with a record of 14 wins and only 2 losses these are exciting times for the program, but our focus is to be better today than we were yesterday. That’s all. If we do that, we’ll get there soon enough.”
It will be an exciting match-up on the men’s side, as the #2 (tied with VIU) Chargers face off against the #1 DC Royals.
“Douglas will be another tough test for us,” states Coach Parkinson. “Like CBC, they have brought in a couple of new players for the second half. Their setter was the Rookie of the Year last season and after sitting out semester one he is now back running their offense. His level of skill makes them much harder to read offensively as long as the pass is decent. Overall though, we match up well with the Royals and we both play a similar style of volleyball. Given what we went through last weekend we will have to be much stronger from our own service line and a much better passing team overall if we hope to have success. It will be interesting to see how far each team has progressed as we played them way back on the second weekend of our season.”
Catch the Chargers this weekend as they take on the Douglas Royals:
Fri, Jan. 30 Camosun hosts Douglas Women 6pm; Men 8pm
Sat, Jan. 31 Camosun hosts Douglas Women 1pm; Men 3pm
All matches at the Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence on Camosun’s Interurban Campus (4371 Interurban Rd).