The Camosun Chargers Men’s Volleyball team produced a pair of electrifying four-set victories over the #4 nationally ranked VIU Mariners this past weekend to seize the No. 1 spot in the conference and jump to #5 in the CCAA National rankings!
“It was great to come out of the weekend against VIU with two wins, but in each case we started very slowly and got clubbed in the first set,” confesses Camosun Chargers Head Coach Charles Parkinson. Fortunately, we stayed close and ground out second set wins on both nights and then revved things up and won the next two as well. It’s possible that we were over-stimulated at the start of the matches and that actually hurt our performance, but we’re proud of the athletes for maintaining their composure and exerting steady pressure against one of the premier teams in the country to grind out the wins.”
Fri Nov 23 CAM 3-1 VIU (21-25, 25-22, 25-16, 25-20)
Sat Nov 24 CAM 3-1 VIU (14-25, 29-27, 25-19, 25-20)
The Chargers were led by second-year left side hitter Eduardo Bida (Exercise & Wellness) and fellow International student-athlete, third-year right side hitter Vitor Periera (BBA).
“Our Brazilian connection served us exceptionally well on the weekend,” acknowledges Coach Parkinson. “Eduardo exploded for 26 points on Friday and Vitor lifted his level to score 24 points on Saturday. This kind of leadership is what every team needs to get them through the difficult matches. We were also very impressed with the performance of our athletes coming off the bench. Kyle Bourdon was terrific on Friday and Morgan Humphries matched that performance on Saturday. This kind of depth really helps in a season that sees each team play 24 matches just to get to the play-offs.”
Two Chargers maintain top spots among PACWEST’s League Leaders: Newcomer Carter Karpenko from Prince George (BBA) has held the league’s No. 1 spot in digs (2.57 per set) for four weeks in a row while teammate Vitor Periera has dominated the kills category for the past six weeks (3.80/set). Periera is also #4 in Digs with 2.02/set, #6 in Aces (0.52/set) and returns to the No. 1 position for Total Offensive Stats with an imposing 4.41 points/set.
Five additional Chargers end the first half on the PACWEST’s Top 15 list and they include:
Eduardo Bida #3 in Digs (2.05/S); #6 in Kills(2.98/S); #2 Aces (0.66/S); #4 TOS (3.89/S)
Douglass Waterman #3 in Blocks (0.44/S)
Lorenz Vogel #4 in Blocks (0.43/S)
Mack Mravnik #T7 in Blocks (0.40/S)
Graham Basi #11 in Blocks (0.32/S)
Coming off their fourth consecutive winning weekend over seven weeks of competition, Parkinson and his coaching staff are impressed with the progress the team is making as they assess the first half of the season.
“Over the years it has taken the Charger teams most of the season to really understand, commit to and execute our systems of play,” discloses the veteran coach. “The fact that our athletes seem to be in synch early with what we are asking of them as a coaching staff is a testament to their trust and work ethic. In the gym, in the weight room and in our matches, every player on the team is contributing to his very best and we can’t ask for more than that. Their cue reading, decision making and execution has really improved and while we still have a long way to go we feel that this group is capable of playing exceptional team volleyball.”
Following December’s exam period and holiday break, the Chargers will be recharged and ready to return to league competition with the action starting the first week in January.
“We are not planning on changing much as we move to the second half of the season,” states Coach Parkinson. “Our Yearly Training Plan is designed to have us peak at the right moment and we will stick with the program that has allowed us to be so successful over the years. This means we have to be deliberate in our actions, take responsibility for each touch of the ball – whether in practice or matches, be intentional in our thought and focus on refining our team play. Paying attention to the process is what results in positive outcomes so we will stay grounded and continue to work hard on the things that will pay dividends in the long run.“
He adds, “There is no short-cut to success in volleyball and every team in the league is capable of winning on any given night. For us to finish the first half of the season on top is gratifying but in reality it’s what you do in February that really counts. We have to keep working harder than anyone else if we want to have a shot at five championships in a row and that’s precisely what we intend to do. We play an exciting brand of volleyball and our fans can expect our athletes to continue to provide a first class show every time they come to watch us compete.”
Fans can catch up with the Chargers as they kick off the second half of the season with a road trip to New Westminster where they are set to take on the Douglas College Royals.
Fri Jan 4 CAM at DC Women 6pm; Men 8pm
Sat Jan 5 CAM at DC Women 1pm; Men 3pm