Hard games out of the break
By Davie Wong, Sports Reporter
For any team, the hardest weeks are usually the ones after a break. For the men, this statement stuck true, as they played the VIU Mariners over the weekend.
The action began on Friday when the men played the first of their two back-to-back games. The Royals looked rusty to start. They fought hard but eventually dropped the first set to the Mariners. The second set also looked to start in VIU’s favour but huge consecutive blocks by Scott Devlin sparked the fire underneath his team and they would go on to take the set to tie the game.
From there, Nick Lightfoot stepped up. His excellent play carried them through a tight third set and secured a win for them in the fourth. Throughout the game, both teams’ skill was evident as scoring was a back-and-forth struggle.
The intensity carried over to Saturday’s matchup. Unfortunately for the Royals, intensity wasn’t enough to beat out the Mariners. After dropping the first set, the men would surge back to life in the second. Although they fought back hard, their efforts fell flat as an early 3-point run by the Mariners gave them all they needed to take the second.
Much like the second, the third set was a back-and-forth one. Sparked by the dire situation his team was in, Devlin rose to the occasion again and helped the Royals rally to take it. Unfortunately, that was all the energy that the Royals could seemingly muster.
VIU opened the fourth and final set swiftly, scoring in rapid succession. There was little the Royals could do as the Mariners finished strong, taking away any hopes of a comeback.
After the games, coach Brad Hudson spoke about his team’s effort of late, “We knew that these games would be tough. VIU is well coached and they’ve got some really good athletes. But overall I thought we executed well this weekend.” The coach was not without criticism as well, however: “I think we have do better with the serve-pass; both serving the ball and receiving the serve. That was a key point in our loss.”
The team has done well for the number of roster issues they’ve faced. Hudson praises his players for being able to step up and fill positions that are lacking due to injuries.
With this weekend in the books, the Royals proceed with a record of 7-3 with 14 points. They have a firm grip on second place in the PACWEST conference, in front of UFV by 4 points, while trailing the undefeated Camosun Chargers by 6 points.
Next week, they look to close out 2015 with games against the Columbia Bible College Bearcats, who have yet to pick up a win.