Vancouver Island University’s volleyball teams have started autumn with winning results on the court.
The VIU women’s and men’s squads are both 4-0 after sweeping their season-opening matches on the road at Fraser Valley, then sweeping their home-opening matches this past weekend against Columbia Bible College.
The Mariners women won in straight sets, 25-17, 25-8, 25-19, then won a rematch on Saturday, 25-19, 25-18, 25-14. VIU’s men’s volleyball team beat CBC on Friday, 25-11, 25-22, 25-13 and then on Saturday by scores of 25-12, 25-8, 25-16.
VIU’s women took the court under tricky circumstances, as they raised their national championship banner from 2017 in a pre-game ceremony, and players were also wearing red ribbons in support of local high school and club volleyball athlete Michelle Reilly, who is battling cancer.
“It was a packed house, a lot of emotion with the banner raising. There was lots of extracurriculars going on on the court,” said Shane Hyde, Mariners coach. “So for the girls to come out and play that crisp, I was really pleased.
He said the first two sets were especially strong.
“When we stuck our starters in there, it was pretty impressive to see how much power we have at every position,” Hyde said.
He was happy with all the other players, too, noting that the team is carrying a roster of 18 players, had to scratch four, and players are recognizing that they’re all tasked with important roles.
“Everybody on this team this year can hit,” the coach said. “We can hit, we can pass, we can play defence, we can block, we have great servers all the way around.”
It’s also a group that’s showing it’s willing to do what it takes to improve and practise and play toward its goals, Hyde said.
For the last three or four years of this provram, I don’t think there’a team in this country that works harder than the girls here,” he said. “The work ethic of the girls is unbelievable.”
GAME ON … The VIU volleyball teams travel to play the College of the Rockies Avalanche on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 26-27. Their next home matches aren’t until Nov. 9-10 when the Douglas Royals are in town.