Next stop are the national championships
By Colten Kamlade, Staff Reporter
For the first time in over two decades, the Douglas College women’s volleyball team has won the provincial title.
History was made for the Royals on February 24 when Vania Oliveira led the team to victory in the final match against the Vancouver Island University Mariners. The Royals won in three straight sets (25-20, 25-12, 25-20), according to an article posted on the Royals’ website, as Oliveira racked up 12 kills, Caet McCorkell 10 kills, and Vicky Schley nine kills. Oliveira was named the tournament’s most important player and McCorkell was named player of the match for Douglas.
The team will now go on to compete in the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) women’s volleyball national championships, which will be hosted by Grande Prairie Regional College, from March 7 to 10. The Vancouver Island University Mariners will advance to the CCAA Nationals as well. It has been 16 years since the Royals have gone to the nationals.
After the game, Royals coach Jeff Ross emphasized the team spirit and the dedication that helped his players win the match in an interview with PACWEST communications staff posted to the Royals’ website.
“It feels great,” Ross told PACWEST interviewer Ryan Watters. “I’m just really happy for the girls. They’ve worked so hard all year and they definitely deserve it. The biggest thing for us is we just play for each other. Our culture is just all supporting each other and making sure everyone’s held accountable to what we’re doing out there, and I think they executed and did everything really well.”
There might have been some extra tension in the final match due to the fact that the Royals lost to the Mariners last year.
“I’d say that was on the girls’ minds a little bit. It was a little bit of a payback,” Ross said in the post-game interview.
When asked about his thoughts on going to the nationals, Ross said the team is looking forward to the experience.
“We’re excited. It’s going to be fun. It’s the first time they’ve been there since ’02, so we’re going to enjoy it and just enjoy the experience, and hopefully we can come away with a medal.”
The Royals also received several conference awards. Oliveira was named women’s player of the year in the PACWEST conference and a first team all-star. McCorkell was named rookie of the year and an all-rookie team selection.