Plus the extra, so five
By Davie Wong, Sports Editor
The Douglas College Royals men’s volleyball team is in the midst of a re-tolling season. A new head coach, all new players, and new goals have been the focus of media around the PACWEST. But as new as the team was, they didn’t come into the league looking like it.
After a tough pre-season, the new Royals squad had their trial by fire on Friday, October 14. They faced off against a testy Columbia Bible College squad. Game one was a thriller that went the whole length, with the Royals taking the game in a nail-biting five sets (25–21, 25–21, 21–25, 23–25, 16–14). The rematch was much more convincing for the Royals, as they beat out the Bearcats in four sets (25–15, 25–21, 28–26, 25–18).
The next week saw them take on the Capilano Blues. The Royals youth capsized the Blues at home, grabbing another two wins, with one of them being a sweep. But week three of PACWEST action saw the team hit a speed bump. Playing against a vastly improved College of the Rockies squad, the Royals dropped both games on the weekend, picking up their first loss in a game, and loss in a series.
The struggle continued into the next week, when the team played the University of the Fraser Valley. They dropped two games to the UFV team, going 3-1, and 3-0 against the Cascades. Then came the Camosun Chargers. The Chargers came into the Royals home, hoping to grab two wins on the weekend. The men gave them one, but they had to work for it. Game two was electric for the Royals. They dragged the match to five sets, using their youth and energy to outlast the aging Camosun team.
The Royals capped off the first half of their season by visiting the VIU Mariners in a battle of the titans. The Mariners just had the edge on the Royals that weekend, and had no issues with closing, as they shut the door on the Royals before they really even had a chance to look at what was on the other side.
They go into the season break at 5–7, which is good enough for them to hold 5th in the PACWEST. With CBC yet to pick up a win in 12 games, the fear of missing playoffs isn’t too relevant. As coach Jay Tremonti believes, the team is continuing to grow, and aiming to hit their stride just before the Provincial Championships.
The concern is that by the time the team hits their stride, they’ll be too banged up to make it count. With a roster of 12, the Royals have one of the medium-sized teams in the league. It gives Tremonti the ability to give his players the playing time they need to develop. But injuries have been a nuisance for the team so far, and several players have found themselves on the backend of some nasty results. The break will really give the team a chance to rest up some sore bodies and lingering injuries.
As far as individual performances, it seems that Jay has the team really playing together. On the scoresheet, nearly everyone on the court has had strong individual performances. The only aspect the team has kind of struggled in is the libero position. Jay has rotated several liberos through the team, as players have recovered or lapsed into injury.
Other than that, the team looks fairly strong individually. There have been some growing pains, as evident in their 3–0 loss to the CBC Bearcats, but no more than any other team.