Women’s volleyball team bounces between results
By Davie Wong, Sports Editor
These were my favourite personal games of volleyball this past week. Not because of the results of the games played, but because of the quality of the two teams playing. Jeff Ross has had the Royals volleyball team playing out of their mind, and they’ve done well to outclass some high level competition. But their most recent challenger was one of the best in the country, and one of their more thrilling rivalries.
The Camosun Chargers rode into the Royals home court determined to make a fuss. The Royals were determined not to let them. In the first set, it was obvious that the Royals had the quality to dispatch their island visitor, finishing the set in a 25–16 fashion.
But if there is one thing about those Chargers, it’s that they’re persistent. It paid off, and they whittled down the Royals team, taking the second set with a tight score of 25–23. Persistence turned into pressure, and the Royals cracked. For the first time this season, the Royals looked out of place in a volleyball game. Even through all of that, they kept up with the Chargers, but could not beat them out, dropping the third set 25–21. The fourth set was quite similar, with the Chargers shutting the door on the Royals before they could come back. A 25-22 set score sealed the game for the home team, and the Chargers walked away with a 3–1 set win.
After the game, Coach Jeff Ross knew exactly why his team fell to the Chargers squad. “We didn’t take care of the ball well enough and we didn’t execute the way we needed to.”
His words would be put to the test the next day, as the Chargers came back looking for win number two on the weekend. The Royals needed a better performance, and they got it on Saturday. Try as they might, the Chargers could not keep up with the Royals’ rapid spontaneous striking style, and they dropped the first set 25–19. The Royals came out even harder in the second set, and destroyed the Camosun backline with some spikes that left their mark on the ball, and on the court. The ladies secured their 2–0 lead with a 25–16 set score.
The win put the Chargers with their back against the wall. They wouldn’t go down without a fight, but squirm as they might, like a tiger stalking its prey, the Royals saw a chance for a takedown and pounced. Never even close to letting up, the Royals gassed it all the way to the finish line, finishing the third set 25–20, and took the game with a fabulous three-set sweep.
After the game, Jeff Ross was much more confident addressing the media. “The team responded well after yesterday. They understood what our expectations are and what our standards are as a team. Tonight we showed who we are and what we are capable of. Our ability to take care of the ball and do the little things well translated into bigger things.”
Bigger things indeed, as with that win, the team advance into the last week of the PACWEST winter semester season with a record of 8–2, giving them a tight leash on second place. They play the first place VIU Mariners next week on the island. The Mariners have looked like the same team that won the CCAA National Championships, and that means the Royals will have to be in tip top form to match against them.