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With Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)

Saanich, BC (ISN) – The Vancouver Island University Mariners stunned the hometown Camosum Chargers by overcoming a two set deficit to win the final three and take the gold medal on the Women’s side at the 2015 PACWEST Volleyball Championships, at the PISE Gymnasium at Camosun College on Saturday evening.

VIU’s Megan Groenendijk (8) feeds a spike between the block of Camosun’s Kathryn Fetting (1) and Lainey Jantzi (9) (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The Chargers, much to the delight of their fans won the first two sets 25-15 and 25-21 and looked well on their way to a sweep of the Mariners, but it was not to be, as the Mariners won sets three and four 26-24 and 25-14 and then took the last set 15-12 to take the title and defend their 2014 Championship.

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Camosun’s Kathryn Fetting soars for the spike in front of a packed house at the PISE Gym (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The Mariners win also denied the top-seeded Chargers their chance of winning their first-ever conference Championship on home ground.

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Camosun’s Hilary Graham (11) attempts a spike through the block of VIU’s Victoria Hocking (12) and Ashley Van Acken (11) (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Fielding comparable lineups with two of the most veteran laden crews in the PACWEST, VIU and Camosun wowed a standing room-only audience through five thrilling sets of hard-hitting, nail-biting entertainment.

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Camosun’s Erika Sheen (10) and Morgan Marshall (4) throw up a good block against VIU’s Meagan Rosenlund (4) (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

As the Mariners head home with Gold, Camosun settles for Sliver and both teams advance to the CCAA National Championships in Cégep Edouard-Montpetit in Longueuil, Quebec, March 12-14.
“When it looked like we were going to lose in three sets, our bench talked about the fact that our heart was still beating and that there was still a glimmer of hope,” commented Mariners Head Coach Shayne Hyde. “We knew that if we could just keep it going and put the pressure on Camosun that we’d have a chance to turn it around.”

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VIU’s Megan Groenendijk (8) attempts a tip over a pair of Camosun defenders (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

“The same thing happened at Nationals last year in the Bronze Medal match,” added Hyde. “We were down 2-0 and found a way to come back and win. Our girls are gritty and have a lot of heart. We didn’t have the prettiest rallies but we found a way. We give credit to Camosun on their hosting duties. This is like a National set-up and the facility and hosts have been awesome. We’ve enjoyed every minute of it!”

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The VIU defence, including the blocks of Tylar Turnbull (1) and company proved to be too much for Camosun’s Kathryn Fetting (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Third-year Mariners power hitter Megan Groenenduk (Chemainus) led VIU to tonight’s Championship victory earning Player of the Match for her outstanding output which included 14 kills and 2 blocks.

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VIU’s Tylar Turnbull (1) and Claire McLoughlin (14) put up the block against Camosun’s Megan Beckett (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Third –year outside hitter Katie Fetting of the Chargers was named POM having produced 22 kills and 1 stuff block.

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The Mariners begin the celebration following their winning point (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)