Men’s volleyball makes statement; women fall short
By Davie Wong, Sports Reporter
It was a big weekend for the Royals volleyball teams as they travelled across the waters of the Salish Sea to challenge their rival, the Vancouver Island University (VIU) Mariners. Both Mariners squads boast impressive records and the Royals looked to put their mark on them.
The women were the first to square off in a tense back-to-back schedule. The first game of the weekend started off magnificently. The Royals looked on-point and on their way to an upset, taking the first set convincingly, 25-21. Unfortunately, the magic ended there.
The Royals got methodically outplayed as the Mariners demonstrated why they are the first place team in conference. The next day did not bode any better for Douglas. The first two sets were neck-and-neck, with the Mariners just barely closing out both 25-23. However, much like the final set of the previous night, the final set of the second game was a mess for the Royals. The Mariners took the final set easily and rolled their way to a sweep, finishing the weekend 2-0 and leaving the visitors 0-2.
The losses leave the Royals at a record of 8-10 and 16 points. They are still within arm’s reach of third place in their tight conference.
The men had a much better time. The Mariners came out strong to start but the Royals had all the answers they needed. A quick 2-0 lead put the Royals in a commanding position, but VIU would not be put away so easily. They answered back in the third, catching the visiting team off guard and stealing a set away from them. The attempt to fire up the crowd was cut short though as the Royals snapped back to form, finishing the Mariners in the fourth and silencing the home supporters.
Saturday’s game looked quite different as the Royals came looking to finish their week 2-0. Starting with their foot on the gas pedal, the Royals looked as if they were going to run away with it after two sets. However, channeling the energy of the home crowd, the Mariners were able to surge back and take two sets of their own.
They took the Royals to a thrilling fifth and final set. Both teams were neck-and-neck past the halfway mark. However, it would be the visiting team that pulled out the win at the end of the day, finishing the set 15-12. They ended the weekend 2-0.
With the wins, the Royals solidified their second place position in the PACWEST and put some space between themselves and VIU, who sit below them with their two fresh losses.