Chargers volleyball squads seize No. 1 status

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(Charger Haakon Ostrem mounts a massive attack on Douglas’ defense)

 

 

With a weekend sweep over the Douglas College Royals in Victoria, the Camosun Chargers men’s and women’s volleyball squads advance to the top of the conference standings as Week 5 of PACWEST play gets underway. 

In women’s action, the Chargers came away with two hard fought wins over the Royals through back to back five-set matches (Fri: 23-25, 25-23, 25-27, 25-22, 15-8; Sat: 18-25, 25-21, 25-23, 22-25, 15-13). Chargers newcomer Morgan Monkman (Smithers, BC) had a breakout weekend with 17 points on Friday night and another 14 on Saturday. At 5-1, the Chargers hold the top spot in PACWEST standings and are ranked #3 in the nation.

“It was quite the weekend,” states Head Coach Chris Dahl. “You expect matches to be closely contested when the #3 ranked and #9 ranked teams in Canada meet, but I’m not sure we expected that. Our play left a lot to be desired, but the inverse of that statement is that there was a lot that we were able to identify and place an exclamation point next to for further development. Perhaps the weekend was best summed up with a gentle reminder that it’s a long season and an acknowledgement that our student-athletes are working hard to take care of a great many things on and off the court. That’s our recipe for success.”

The Camosun men collected a hard-hitting 3-1 battle on Friday (25-17, 25-14, 22-25, 25-22) and followed up with a decisive straight set victory over Douglas in Saturday’s rematch (25-15, 25-23, 25-21). Haakon Ostrem (Norway) made an amazing debut for Camosun mounting a massive attack over the Royals with a phenomenal 47 points and 20 digs.

“We expected a very hard battle against Douglas because they have quality athletes and are well coached,” commented Head Coach Charles Parkinson. “Unfortunately, they were suffering from the injury bug this weekend and had to modify their line-ups against us and as a result, while still very mentally tough, they were not quite as smooth as we have seen them in the past. Part of the credit for the way they played lies in the way our team executed our game plan. We studied a lot of tape before the match and built a plan that we thought would give us a great chance of winning and to their credit, every athlete performed as we asked them to. They put Douglas under pressure on every serve and in every rotation and either forced them into errors or funneled the ball to our defense for a transition opportunity.“

This weekend, the Chargers volleyball teams return to PISE to play host to the University of the Fraser Valley Cascades. Like Douglas, UFV is one of the top teams to beat and both squads promise to provide the Camosun men and women with their own set of challenges.

“UFV will be tough, comments Coach Dahl. “They’ve undergone a coaching change and have played some very competitive volleyball early in the season with teams sitting near the top of the PACWEST standings. They bring size in key positions and I expect another tough match-up in the PACWEST. We’re in the business of preparing for a championship. Along the way there will be bumps on the road that will jostle the seats a little, we can’t avoid them and nor do we want to… by hitting them we’ll actually start to settle in at some point.”

For the Chargers men, the #2 UFV Cascades will be another difficult test as Coach Parkinson attests, “Coach Kyle Donan has done a great job of upgrading positions that were a bit weaker last season with great recruits. They pushed Douglas to five sets in their first encounter, while shows that they are explosive. The Cascades are led by 5th year high-flying leftside Adam Chaplin who has amazing strength for a smaller player and is one of the hardest hitters in the league. Joining him in a leadership role is 4th year veteran right side Joel Kleingeltink whose serve and back row attacks are deadly. Our success against UFV hinges on our ability to take them out of their rhythm with our serving and our ability to limit the scoring of their big attackers with our block and defense. If we can do that it will force other players into roles they are not used to playing, which can be very disruptive. On our side we also have to play great team defense, which means the connection and communication between our blockers and defenders has to be continuous, and when we do bring their attacks up we have to be able to kill the ball in transition. There are no easy weekends in the PACWEST as we saw last week against the #1 Royals and we will experience this week against the #2 Cascades.”

Catch the Chargers battle Fraser Valley this weekend at PISE.

Fri, Nov. 13         Women 6pm; Men 8pm

Sat, Nov. 14        Women 1pm; Men 3pm

Watch the matches live on PACWEST.TV

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