Thursday, June 27, 2019

Camosun women’s volleyball team charge, while men retreat

October 20, 2014 by Mac Clohan, contributing writer

The Camosun Chargers volleyball teams kicked off their seasons on Friday, October 17 at the Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence at the Interurban campus. An enthusiastic crowd of close to 400 people turned out to cheer on the home team as they faced off against island rivals the Vancouver Island University (VIU) Mariners.

The Camosun Chargers volleyball teams recently kicked off their seasons (photo by Kevin Light).

First up was the women’s team. It might have been their debut game of the season but there was no rust on those joints as the team took an early 6-2 lead and held on to win with a convincing 25-7 final score. Consistent play and excellent work up at the net characterized the Chargers’ game play as the Mariners were clinically dispatched.

Set two saw Camosun starting out strong again, taking an early 8-3 lead, but VIU fought back hard. While they had difficulty all night stringing consistent plays together, the Mariners’ play was punctuated by periods of intense production, including a 7-0 run that put them up 21-20 over the Chargers.

Fortunately, scrappy play at the net by the Camosun women ended VIU’s run and put the home team back in charge. The Chargers looked composed, cool, and calm as they closed out set two with a final score of 25-23.

Facing a match loss, the Mariners come out hard in set three and, unlike the previous set, didn’t let the Chargers take a sizeable lead.

The Chargers weren’t fazed by this last onslaught and made consistently excellent decisions, which piled up the kills via spikes and dumps. Fittingly, Camosun closed out with the solid spike to take the set 25-22 and sweep the match.

“To come out and perform at a high level for periods of time, not from start to finish, but for significant periods of the time the way we did against a formidable opponent, I think we have to walk away feeling pleased,” said head coach Chris Dahl after the match.

Dahl said the team took advantage of opportunities when their opposition was under pressure.

“That opened the door for us, we stepped right through, and sometimes we even ran right through that door, asserted ourselves, and asserted our play all night long,” he said.

The Chargers men’s team was up next as the home crowd hoped they would continue the women’s success.

Unfortunately, the first set dictated the tone for the rest of their night. The men were physical and aggressive, but had trouble putting the ball on the ground all night.

As head coach Charles Parkinson put it, “We lacked finish at the end of every set. We got soft, they got hard.”

Despite keeping it close all set, VIU took its first win of the night 25-22.

Set two was the highlight of the men’s night. True potential shone through as the Chargers executed complicated set pieces with decoys and intricate cut shots. The Mariners dug so well and so often, though, that these rallies rarely produced points. With the set tied up at 24-24 and the crowd on the edge of their seats, the Mariners pulled up their jazzy pink socks and closed hard as the Chargers fell 26-24.

Set three highlighted the Chargers’ difficulties. They started strong with a 6-2 lead but slowly crumbled under the increasing pressure of the Mariners. A couple of expert serves that found the seam in the Chargers’ defence helped push the Mariners to a clear win of 25-19 to take a clean sweep of the match.

After the match Parkinson said he did see some positives in the night.

“I thought that for having a couple of rookies out there and moving a couple of guys to new positions, they adapted quite well,” he said.

Parkinson added that he also saw clear room for improvement. “Our serving was okay, not great,” he said. “Our first contact putting that ball up to the setter needs to improve. First contacts are crucial.”

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