Week 9 of action brings a couple of surprises
By Davie Wong, Sports Reporter
It was the first week back from the break for both the men’s and women’s volleyball teams. Looking at the schedule, it should have been an easy week for the Royals to break back into the second leg of the season. The ways the games played out however, was not quite what was expected.
The men found themselves visiting the bottom-of-the-table College of the Rockies Avalanche. Coming into the back-to-back games, Douglas held a 9-3 record and 6 points over the home team. The Avalanche, holding a meagre 6-8 record, looked to give the Royals a rude wakening from their winter break hibernation.
And a rude wakening it was. The men found themselves locked in a back-and-forth game t0 start the weekend. After taking the first set methodically, the Royals found themselves in the reverse position in the second when the Avalanche ripped the lead back, outscoring the Royals 25-13. The shocking set seemed to spark some fire in the team as they bounced back, barely taking the third.
The fourth set began beautifully for the Royals. They executed on easy opportunities and sprung out to an early lead. In a short spurt of what can only be called marvelous play by the Avalanche saw the Royals lose a 6-point lead. The two teams played the set bone dry, taking it to 29 points to decide a victor.
When the dust settled, both teams found themselves going into an unexpected fifth and final set. The Avalanche stormed out to take the lead by a few points which the Royals could never reclaim. The Avalanche were able to upset the Royals to start the weekend.
The men were not to be denied completely, however, and came back on Saturday evening fired-up. Invigorated from the loss, the Royals strategically disassembled the Avalanche in the last game of the weekend, taking it 3-1.
Finishing the weekend at 1-1 was not what the men expected. It is obvious that the team looked a little rusty after the long break. The second game was much closer to the Royal’s pre-break form, where they dominated the competition with superior play. They will look to re-attain that peak next week as they host the league’s best team: The Camosun Chargers.
The women, however, had a much harder wake-up call on Friday. The ladies dropped the game 0-3 to the Avalanche. The long break rust was evident as they opened the game with an 25-18 loss. The second set showed little improvement as the Avalanche outplayed the Royals, taking the set 25-16. In a third and thrilling set, the Royals looked to regain some life in their game. They took it all the way to the final point, but Avalanche were able to close out the game before they lost control.
Saturday’s matchup looked much different for the Royals. The ladies picked up the pace at the high tempo they left it the night before. The first set was a nail-biter as the Royals barely snatched the win from a hungry Avalanche team, taking the set 25-23. The momentum of the first set win propelled the ladies to pick up the second set as well, taking that 25-20. The Avalanche would not be blanked at home and came back swinging, taking the third set in a reverse score, 25-20.
The fourth set was breathtaking to watch for both teams. In a battle of pure will, both teams fought to very end. However, unlike the night before, it was the visiting Royals that came out on t0p this time. They leave this bittersweet weekend knowing that splitting games is not the worst, but they will need so much more in the future.
For the middle-of-the-table Royals, picking up two crucial points ensures their spot at the number four position in the standings. They will play the second place Camosun Chargers at home next week.