The Camosun College Chargers Men’s and Women’s Basketball and Volleyball teams are set to ring in the New Year with an exciting eight-game event against the Columbia Bible College Bearcats at the Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence, Jan. 10-12.
The three-day series begins on Friday, Jan. 10 with the Chargers Basketball teams tipping off at 6:00pm (Women) and 8:00pm (Men).
Sitting fourth in the PACWEST standings, the Chargers women, led by the league’s top point maker, Tessa Lannon-Paakspuu, will be looking for a strong performance against the Bearcats who are looking for their first win of the season. Fans will also have the opportunity to catch Camosun’s newest addition, Codi Tiedeman, a 6’1” record-setting track athlete who comes to Camosun all the way from Australia.
“With the talent and camaraderie we have, it’s going to be about individuals doing what they can on their own time to get better and add to the team,” says Chargers Women’s Basketball Head Coach Justin Thiessen on the second half of the season. “I keep telling them that this is the group that changes Camosun Basketball forever and I truly believe that. This team has a real shot of going to nationals and making noise.”
The #4 Chargers men are also looking for a strong start to the second half, with the return of fourth-year guard Jake Wilmott who will re-join fellow fourth-year veterans, Shaquille Maharaj and Matthew Gray, to help lead the 12-game push to the PACWEST playoffs.
“The first half of the year showed us some bright spots and allowed us to see the great potential of the team,” comments Head Coach Scot Cuachon on his team. “It also highlighted areas that we need to continue to get improve upon. This is a high character and fun group of people who like being together and being around each other, and as long as they continue on the path of sticking together and putting out sustained best effort, the results will speak for themselves.”
Basketball action wraps up with afternoon games on Saturday, Jan. 11 at 1:00pm and 3:00pm.
The Chargers Volleyball teams hit the court Saturday night with their 2020 openers which start at 6:00pm and 8:00pm.
The Chargers women enter the second half with a #2 PACWEST standing and an impressive No. 7 CCAA National ranking. The squad is led by one of the league’s most talented and charismatic setters, fifth-year Charger Katie Wayling, and fan-favorite, International student-athlete, Mika Yamada (Japan), who leads the conference in aces. Veteran middle Grace Kazanowski returns to the fold following a year hiatus.
“We have talent and depth in all positions on this team, so we have what it takes to win,” states Chargers Women’s Volleyball Head Coach Brent Hall. “Keeping everyone healthy and fit, and continuing to refine our systems and style of play will allow us to be at our best, come provincials.”
The Chargers men, who are chasing after their fifth PACWEST title in six years, are counting on a second-half comeback this semester with the return of Brazilians Eduardo Bida and Vitor Pereira who were forced out of the latter part of the first half with injuries.
“We started the season extremely well, going undefeated in our first four matches, but then we ran into the injury/illness bug and we struggled,” comments Chargers Men’s Volleyball Head Coach Charles Parkinson. “Both our Brazilian aces were out with a dislocation and a shoulder injury, our middles were out due to concussion and illness and several other players were out of commission at various times with colds or flu, so we were never able to put the same line up on the floor for even two matches in a row.”
Coach Parkinson adds, “We have always maintained it’s not what you do at the beginning of the season that counts, but what you do at the end. We will be looking for the signs of improvement in specific areas in January and February that will set us up for another positive stretch run. The top four teams are all fairly close this season and the team that is able to peak at the right time will undoubtedly be the team that wins the title and represents the PACWEST at Nationals. We are confident that we’ll be in the hunt again!”
The Chargers volleyball teams close their weekend series against the Bearcats on Sunday, Jan. 12 with matches starting at 1:00pm and 3:00pm.
Fans will not want to miss this action-packed weekend and are encouraged to arrive early! Free Chargers Tees to the first 50 fans at Friday’s basketball games and Saturday evening’s volleyball matches.