Alumni clean up at men’s volleyball tournament
By Courtnie Martin, Sports Reporter
Last weekend kicked off the men’s volleyball season, as the Royals hosted a tournament at the New Westminster campus of Douglas College. With the season set to kick off next week, it was a good tune-up for the Royals.
The first match for the hosts was against the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) Cascades, whom they controlled for the majority of the game. Coach Brad Hudson decided to only play the first year players for the tournament opener, and it was a relative success. While they sometimes struggled with passing, allowing their opponents to get back into the game by winning the second set, the Royals ultimately took victory in the fourth.
The second game saw the Royals facing their very own alumni. Although they fought hard, they were no competition for the highly skilled and seasoned veteran team. The current crop of Royals struggled throughout the entire match, and all their technical systems broke down.
“We played very hard against the alumni. They just have more time in the game together. They are smarter with the decisions they make because they have been doing this much longer. We couldn’t put our systems back together,” said First Team All-Star, Andrew McWilliams.
The Royals lost in three sets and walked into their game against the Columbia Bible College (CBC) Bearcats with a 1-1 record for the tournament.
CBC brought the heat in the final game of the tournament. Douglas did a great job staying focussed and mentally tough, but were still no match for the Bearcats. McWilliams made huge plays to bring the team back within two points in both the final two sets against CBC. Hit after hit, spike after spike, the intensity in the game never let down for a second. The Royals went diving for every ball that came their way, and the crowd recognized their efforts. The victory for CBC was in no small part due to their impressive blocking system; no ball came across the net without one of their defenders getting a hand on it. The Bearcats made impossible plays very possible, beating the Royals in a three-set shutout.
After a hard-fought tournament from all four teams, the results showed that the tournament had experienced its very first three-way tie for second place. Douglas, CBC, and UFV all finished with a 1-2 record. The alumni team successfully beat each of their opponents, placing themselves on top of the final standings. With preseason officially in the books, the teams will now turn their attention to the main event.