Royals face off against top level competition
By Davie Wong, Sports Editor
It’s been a killer start to the PACWEST volleyball season. Amazing games, fantastic highlights, and tremendous stories have highlighted the storyboards. Although this semester’s volleyball action is near a close, there was still one final week of games to offer us some entertainment. And dare I say, they may have been the most entertaining games this year so far.
Over the weekend, the Royals went over to the islands to battle the VIU Mariners in some top level volleyball. The women got the action started. They came into the match trailing the Mariners by one game. Winning both games would give them the top spot in the PACWEST going into the break. They certainly showed the Mariners just how much they wanted to be the best with an excellent first set, taking it 25–13. The Mariners came back in the second set, tying the game with a 25–17 win.
With momentum of the game on the line, the Royals came up huge, closing out their early lead and grabbing the third set with a score of 25–23. From there, it was fantastic finishing that guided the Royals to a final set win, 25–22. The win gave them the game, tying them up on the standings with the Mariners.
Several Royals had a hay-day on the swing. Vania Oliveira had 15 kills, and Juliana Penner and Georgia Hurry had 13 kills each. Vicki Schley also had a big game, slamming down eight kills.
The next day, the teams came back to battle once again. However, the Mariners came back with a vengeance. Three sets worth of vengeance to be precise. It was a clean sweep from the Mariners. But the numbers tell a different story. The final score was 25–21, 25–22, and 25–23, in the Mariners favor. The Royals may have dropped three sets, but they definitely did not lose without fighting.
Vania had another fantastic game, picking up 11 kills and 2 service aces. Vicki Schley picked up another eight kills, while Juliana Penner and Autumn Davidson grabbed six kills each.
The loss bumps the team back in the standings. As of the start of the break, the team sits at 9–3 with 18 points. They hold a firm lead on second place in the PACWEST.
On the men’s side, it was always going to be a tough ride for the Royals. The Mariners are nearly unstoppable so far, only losing a single game to the Capilano Blues. The Royals have been doing all right, with a record of 5–5.
Going into the game, the Royals were huge underdogs. And it didn’t take them long to find out why. A dominant first set saw the Royals drop behind, losing 25–17. But the Royals know a thing or two about fighting from behind. They came back in the second set, taking it 26–24. The third set was a mirror image of the first, with the Mariners finding a way to regain their form. They began really shutting the door on the Royals. And in the fourth set, the Mariners did exactly that, winning 25–17, and winning the game 3 sets to 1.
The second game was a tough result for the Royals. The team was seemingly just outclassed by the Mariners. They dropped three straight sets to the Mariners, with the final scores on the game being 25–17, 25–18, and 25–13.
The tough weekend put a bit of a damper on the men’s otherwise pretty decent split. The team ends the half with a record of 5–7, sitting at 5th with 10 points. The danger of missing playoffs isn’t too relevant, as only one team misses this year. That team at the moment is the CBC Bearcats, who sit at the bottom with a record of 0–12. The winter break should be good for the team, as many will be recouping from an already tough first semester.