Some of the best sports action last weekend in B.C. took place in Cranbrook, with the hosting of the Pacwest Provincial Volleyball Championships at the College of the Rockies.
The six best men’s teams and six best women’s teams in the province duked it out for top honours before appreciative crowds Thursday through Saturday.
“We had spectacular crowds all weekend,” said Cori Andrichuk, Manager of Campus Life and Athletics for the College of the Rockies, adding that final attendence figures aren’t in. “But we filled the stands completely on Thursday night for both the women’s match and the men’s match, and the same thing for Saturday night for the 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. matches.
“So we were probably upwards of 350, or 400 people, just for those matches alone.”
The home squad — the College of the Rockies Avalanche — lost the quarter final match-up in a thriller to the eventual tournament victors, the Capilano University Blues, who at number four seed going ended up as upset champions.
“It was a really good league this year,” Andrichuk said. “There was definitely a division between the top two teams and the bottom four teams, but those bottom four teams were so close in the standings that it could have gone any direction — and it certainly did on the men’s side.
“The boys (COTR Avs) had their opportunity, and unfortunately it just didn’t fall their way.”
But COTR, the Pacwest league and the community all feel is was a great weekend of volleyball.
“The community came on board, our sponsors came on board, and the atmosphere at the championships themselves was palpable,” Andrichuk said. “You could feel how excited people were. And I think there’s a better awareness that volleyball is an amazing spectator sport. I think it goes unnoticed a lot of the time, but there was some exceptional quality volleyball out there, and the people who saw the Friday match were treated to something you don’t see very often.
“We’ve got nothing but positive comments from the travelling officials to the travelling teams to the Pacwest officials themselves who were in attendence.”
As mentioned, the Capilano University Blues won the Men’s side, defeating the Vancouver Island University Mariners. The Fraser Valley Cascades defeated the Columbia Bible College Bearcats to win the Women’s championships.