A look at games coming this week
By Davie Wong, Sports Reporter
It’s an exciting week for sports. Hockey is hotter than ever and the NFL has their conference finals, but for Douglas fans, nothing is quite as exciting as this weekend’s lineup for the Royals. All four teams will be in action once again, with the men and women’s volleyball teams teeing it off at home.
The men are red hot coming into this weekend. Last weekend they picked up some very convincing wins showcasing just how much they’ve grown since the start of the season. The fourth quarter curse that had plagued the team all but vanished. But most importantly, the Royals look comfortable playing again.
In what has become a more common occurrence, the Royals were able to execute beautifully on their game plans last week. It showed the league just how powerful this underdog team can be if they aren’t be shut down.
They will need that power this weekend as they visit the Camosun Chargers. The last time these two middle-of-the-table teams clashed was in the second week, when the Chargers were barely able to close out the game. This time the stakes are much higher. A win will give the Royals the bump they need to be level with the Chargers in the standings. A win by the Chargers will put them two games above the Royals, which could mean everything when the playoffs come around.
The key for the Royals is one of the things they’re strongest at: game tape review. The coaching staff for the Royals has done an excellent job when it comes to preparing the team week to week, and it can be no different this week. If anything, it needs to a level above excellent. They had the Chargers figured out the last time the two played. Time will truly be their greatest enemy.
That being said, there is little room for mistakes. The Royals need to come out strong and keep going as such. If they can take a lead into the fourth, the Chargers will likely not be able to catch them.
The team finishes their weekend with a rumble against the undefeated VIU Mariners. The Mariners have looked near unstoppable during their 11-0 run. Lately, however, the team has shown that they have some holes.
Since coming back from the break, the Mariners have had two closest games of their season. They barely came out of Langara with a win in overtime last Saturday. The so-called giants of the PACWEST conference have been cut down a few inches.
For the sake of the Royals, let’s hope it stays like that. The last time these two teams played, the Royals pushed the Mariners harder than any other team pre-break. An early lead, accrued from reckless Mariner mistakes, gave the Royals pressure through most of the first half. The second half of the game showed everyone that when pushed to the brink, the Mariners are very sloppy with their defensive play.
The key for the Royals will be to take the lead early and cash in when the Mariners collapse on their own self-destructive offence. However, the Royals cannot get complacent with a lead. The Mariners showed last time, that no lead is truly safe from them. Airtight play from the Royals will be needed if they hope to put a stop to the rampaging Mariners.
None have been hotter than the lava-like Royals. Since dropping their home opener against the VIU Mariners, the women have gone on a nine-game tear. This week brings potentially the biggest matchup of maybe the entire regular season. The Royals will be clashing with fellow powerhouse VIU in a star-studded battle for the best record.
It is impossible to predict what will come out of this matchup. The defensively solid Mariners will look to contain the explosive offence of Simran Bir and the Royals.
The men’s volleyball team will be bringing the biggest games of the season home this weekend as the Camosun Chargers, sitting atop of the league with a record of 15-1, will be in town.
The last two these two volleyball giants played was when the Royals made the trip to Camosun’s home court. The result was not good for the Royals. Since then, the Royals have been mediocre.
With the Chargers charging in red hot and yearning to prove themselves, the Royals will need to step it up big time. Regardless of the result, these two elite teams will be sure to put on an entertaining show for all to enjoy. The two play on Friday at 8 p.m. and on Saturday at 3 p.m.
Like the men, the women will also be facing off against the Camosun Chargers at home. The Chargers sit second in the standings with a record of 10-6. For the Royals, this will be the opportunity to prove to the league that the women are ready for to play the top teams.
The last time the two teams played, it was a tooth-and-nail struggle until the end. The Chargers took both games 3-2 but the Royals made them fight for every point. It could have gone either way.
Look for that same level of play this week as the Royals try to move themselves closer to the top of the standings. Two wins would put them in range of potentially snagging third or second in the standings the following week, while two losses could see them tumble into sixth. This week will absolutely be one of the defining weeks of the season. Games start at 6 p.m. on Friday and 1 p.m. on Saturday.