The Camosun College Chargers men’s and women’s volleyball teams are preparing for their final weekend of competition as the 2015-16 season comes to a close and action ramps up for the PACWEST Provincial Championships, hosted by Columbia Bible College, February 25-27. The Chargers season will end as it began, with an exciting pair of back-to-back match ups against Island rivals – the VIU Mariners.
“The matches between Camosun and VIU are always spirited and because they are right at the end of the season and both teams should be playing their best volleyball,” comments Camosun Men’s Head Coach Charles Parkinson. “This should mean consistent offensive, defensive and blocking execution and very few errors, which is always great for spectators.”
Heading into Week 14, the defending Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) National Men’s Volleyball Champion Chargers are 19-3 with a No. 3 national ranking and a season-long #1 status in the PACWEST. Following a slow start early in the season, VIU has had a solid second half, making a steady climb to stand third in the conference and No. 12 in the CCAA rankings.
“VIU has streaked up the leaderboard this second half,” states Coach Parkinson. “Their wingers Jesse Bazergui and Zach Grigg have been stellar and are close to the top of the league in service aces and kills. The return of Wayne Woyciehouski in the second half has also allowed them to solidify their middle and put up a bigger and more disciplined block.”
“Camosun remains strong in the serve-block game, which has given teams problems all season. The addition of Alex Sadowski adds significant depth to the middle and VIU will be forced to be aware of him at all times. This should free up the wings to swing in isolation situations and they have proved deadly efficient in these situations. It should be a close and entertaining battle between two teams nearing peak form!”
While the outcome of this weekend’s matches will not have serious implications for the #1 Chargers men who have secured one of the two byes in the first round of the playoffs, a successful weekend against the Mariners would help the Chargers women extend their lead on the #3 Capilano Blues who sit one spot below Camosun via tie-breaker. Having defeated VIU in straight sets in their two previous meetings, the No. 9 nationally ranked Camosun Chargers will be looking for another pair of wins, while the team, which has had to deal with a number of personnel changes, prepares for the PACWEST Championships in two weeks’ time.
“The Island Rivalry is great for sport as there’s a lot of mutual respect between two highly competitive programs,” states Chargers Women’s Head Coach Chris Dahl. “We’re quite different from our up island rivals and for the past two seasons we’ve come out on top, but you have to be sharp against a gritty Mariner crew at all times.”
“These matches are always great preparation in advance of the PACWEST Championships. We’ve been forced to manage a different roster on most weekends for a variety of reasons. Athletes have played out of position and had the opportunity to contribute in different roles from weekend to weekend. Our priority is preparing for a championship level performance and all activities in training and competition on the weekend are focused on this task.”
The Island rivalry series will begin in Nanaimo on Friday (Women 6pm; Men 8pm); the final match will take place in Victoria with Camosun hosting on Saturday at the Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence (Women 5pm; Men 7pm). Catch the action live on PACWEST.tv.
In addition to what promises to be a great weekend of volleyball, Camosun will raise their second banner of 2015 in recognition of the Chargers Men’s Golf team who won the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association National Championship last October.