Royals Volleyball face off against the Camosun Chargers
By Davie Wong, Sports Editor
Every sports team has a rivalry—the BC Lions and Calgary Stampeders, the Vancouver Canucks and the Flames, and the Douglas College Royals Volleyball and the Camosun Chargers Volleyball. These two legendary rosters have some bad blood with each other, particularly on the men’s side. No year was more heated than last year.
The Chargers beat out the Royals to a PACWEST Provincial Championship gold medal in a thrilling five sets, but the Royals got the Chargers back at the CCAA National Tournament, where they sent the Chargers spiraling out of bronze medal contention.
This year, things are a bit different for both teams. The Royals have almost a completely different roster, with new players, new staff, and even a new coach. The Chargers managed to maintain much of their old roster, and their staff and coach remained the same, but the team has seemingly struggled so far to start the season.
The Chargers were completely outclassed by the VIU Mariners, dropping two games to them in three straight sets. They also dropped two games to the UFV squad, with both of those being 3–1.
The Royals have also had their own struggles. After winning their first four, the Douglas College squad has dropped the next four in a row. They lost both games to an ailing College of the Rockies team, and dropped both games against UFV. The Chargers beat COTR fairly convincingly to start the season, and the Royals may be looking at a David and Goliath battle, despite both squads’ records.
No matter what the records may say, the Royals vs. Chargers has always delivered exciting high-level volleyball. Should the Royals hope to win, they’ll need huge games from Justin Faester and Devon Dunn, as well as Johnson Yi, who will have the difficult job of tracking Matthew Bower and Savana Walkingbear.
On the women’s side things, while the rivalry between these two teams is evident, it is not as heated as the men’s side. The Royals have been on a tear to start their season, going 7–1 in their first eight games. Even the one game they did drop to the defending provincial champions (COTR) was in five sets and could have gone either way.
The Chargers haven’t been so lucky. They are 4–4 to start the year and have looked questionable at times, particularly when they got swept by the CBC Bearcats in three straight sets.
The Royals have the advantage with a deep scoring roster. This year, you don’t know who the ball is going to. It could go out wide to Juliana Penner or Vania Oliveira, or it could be a quick strike from Vicki Schley, or it could even go up the middle to Autumn Davidson. All four players have had their games in the spotlight, and have shown that they have the ability to finish.
Meanwhile, the Chargers suffer from a common problem of having a single attacking threat in Michelle Zygmunt. While very skilled and definitely always a threat, the Royals should have more than enough defence to lock her down. Obviously, as a former libero, Schley is a fantastic two-way player, and provides a filler option to different holes on the court. Claudia Corneil has been nearly flawless as a libero, acting as the Royals’ main defensive outlet. And Autumn Davidson can always be found where a block is happening for the Royals, while also being a two-way threat.
I think it’s going to be 3–1 wins on both games this weekend for them, and I think they have more than enough to take both games for sure.
Both Royals squads will be playing at home this week. Come out and support them as the battle their rivals on Friday at 6 and 8 p.m., and on Saturday at 1 and 3 p.m. Both games will be played in the New Westminster campus gym.