Men’s Volleyball face Mariners test next week
By Davie Wong, Sports Editor
It’s a match up that many have marked on their calendars. The VIU Mariners are coming to visit the Royals, and it’s going to be a great match up. While playoffs are guaranteed for both the teams, the match will really be a test for the Royals. The Mariners, the top team in the PACWEST, and fourth best team in the CCAA, represent the top flight of competition. With two weeks until the end of the season, this matchup may be an indication of how the Royals shape up come time for the playoffs.
The Douglas squad is coming into the Mariners matchup off of a tight matchup against the Camosun Chargers the week before. A split result saw the Royals go 3–1 in both games, with the game going both ways. Offensively, the team looks good to go. With weapons like Justin Faester, Devon Dunn, Jerry Yan, and Johnson Yi, the Royals can never really be too short on swinging arms.
However, one of the concerns that was brought to attention during their loss was their defence. It’s no secret that the Royals struggle with going from set pieces to a free-form defence. It’s hard to accomplish correctly, and even harder to really nail down. But the Royals are not easily deterred. Watch for them to be pulling out new plays and trying to make things happen, as if the matchup is like any other.
Meanwhile, the Mariners will be coming in off of a couple of postponed games. Whether or not they play those game this week will be crucial to the Royals chances. If they do end up playing, the fatigue could be enough for the Royals to do them in. If they don’t? Well, the Royals will be playing a VIU squad coming off what is essentially a bye-week.
At their best, the VIU Mariners might actually be a National contender. They nearly have it all. And the difference between this year’s squad and last year’s squad is immense. I don’t expect them to pull any punches, nor take any shortcuts. They may elect to rest some of their players halfway through the game, or not even play them at all, but that would be their downfall. The Royals, while looking humble, are actually quite efficient at dispatching complacent opponents.
Having gone 4–2 in the last three weeks, the Royals are coming in hot handed. If they can even manage to take a game of the Mariners, I’d consider that a huge stepping stone. Because when playoffs come along, one game is all it takes.