Royals face off against Capilano Blues
By Davie Wong, Sports Editor
The Royals volleyball teams are off to a hot start to mark their 2016–17 regular season. After thoroughly thrashing the CBC Bearcats last weekend, both Royals squads faced off against the Capilano Blues in back-to-back matchups.
The women got things started. In Jeff Ross’ third game in the PACWEST, his team looked smooth and comfortable as they played against the Blues on Friday and Saturday. Friday saw the Royals deftly execute their game plan without hesitation, and sent the Blues reeling, taking it in straight sets with scores of 25–18, 25–20, and 25–15.
Saturday was a bit more of a challenge. Playing at home for the third time in four games, the Royals were met with stalwart opposition. The Blues came out hard, but the Royals came out even harder. In the tightest set of the night, it was the Royals that came out on top. Under the serving of Captain Juliana Penner, the Royals topped the Blues with a score of 25–22. The second set was the high point of the Blues’ night as they would end up securing a 25–20 set win to tie the game up.
But it wasn’t meant to be, as the Royals came out in the third and fourth set and ran over the Blues. Vicki Schlay took scoring into her own hands and racked up more than a few kills to her name. Rookie Vania Oliveria continued to impress with her massive swings and deadly kills. Both of them led the team to a cushy win with 25–16 and 25–19 sets.
After the game, Jeff Ross took some time to talk about his team’s success so far. “I thought we did well tonight. It was good to get pushed and I knew Cap was going to come out here and put pressure on us and it was a good reminder for us and what we need to do. Cap brought their game and we just adapted to what they were doing. But we don’t stop fighting, and we don’t stop competing.”
While the women were on their A game, the men found their own ways to succeed. They also faced off against the Blues this weekend. Playing away on Friday, the Royals racked up a storm on the scoreboard. It was a tight game between two teams whose youth made up the majority. However, at the end of two sets, the Royals looked to be on top of their age level. They took the first two sets 25–21 and 25–22. But the third set was a bit of a road bump as the Blues managed to stave off the sweep, taking the set with a score of 25–23. They couldn’t hold off the Royal flood much longer, and before long it overwhelmed them. The men took a simple fourth set to close out the match, winning 25–18, and closing out the game, 3–1.
Saturday’s game had a different story, but a similar feel, as the Royals came out guns blazing. Sam Harder played nearly a full game and made his presence known to the PACWEST, and Jerry Yan stepped up huge for the Royals when the third set came down to the line. The Royals would sweep away the Blues in three straight sets, taking it with scores of 25–20, 25–21, and 26–24.
After the game, Coach Jay Tremonti took some time to speak about his team’s success. “We’re making some real serious steps. Guys are working hard Monday–Friday, getting ready for the weekend, and we’ve been challenging them and really pushing them, and I think that we can really see that on the court. On paper, Capilano and us both look like we have the same level of experience, but the guys in our gym that are coming back have experience going to Nationals and guys like Devon Dunn has international experience representing our country on the beach scene.”