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Avalanche declaw the Bearcats

The men's and women's team split their records with a win and a loss against the visitors from Columbia Bible College.
The men’s COTR Avalanche team makes a block during a match against the CBC Bearcats on Saturday afternoon.

There was an Avalanche warning this weekend, but it wasn’t on the mountain slopes.

The men and women’s College of the Rockies volleyball teams were on the court hosting the visiting Columbia Bible College Bearcats—as both split their records with a win and a loss.

For the ladies, it was their first win of the season on Friday through a marathon five-set effort, coming back from a two-set deficit to force the tiebreak and earn the victory.

“I think we just never gave up,” said Jen Pillon, who plays libero for the team. “That was the biggest thing, we kept trying our hardest and it paid off in the end.”

The ladies played two close sets, but were behind 2-0 at scores of 25-20 and 25-21. However, the Avs turned it around, winning the following two at 25-23 and 25-18 to force the tiebreak, which they won at 15-11.

“We had good offence and defence and the last three sets we cut back on our serving errors, so that helped for the win,” added Pillon.

The Bearcats came out swinging on Saturday in the rematch, winning in straight sets at 25-20, 25-17, and 25-22.

For the men’s team, the Avs dropped their opening game on Friday evening, but rebounded for a solid win on Saturday afternoon.

The Avs faced an opposing roster laden with local connections as Scott Kemperman made a return to his former gym and team. Oliver Parsons, a graduate of Mount Baker Secondary School, also made his debut in front of a hometown crowd in Bearcat colours.

The Bearcats roster also includes Jeremy and Matt Lieuwen, siblings to former Kootenay Ice goaltender Nathan Lieuwen.

Coming into the game as the top team in the Pacwest league, the Bearcats clawed their way to a straight set match win on Friday night at scores of 25-23, 25-21 and 30-28.

“I think we came out and we acted like a bunch of individuals,” said Avs left side Jack Newman.

The two teams met for a rematch on Saturday and the Avs won 3-1 after four sets.

The Avs went up to an early two-set lead at scores of 25-20 and 25-16, before the Bearcats answered back at 25-20.

The Avs sealed up the win in the fourth set, by a set score of 25-19.

“I think it’s one of our best games yet,” said Newman. “The reason why that is, is because we started playing more as a team.

“Today, it was more that everyone cared, and everyone wanted everyone to do well and that was the biggest thing, I think.”


Trevor Crawley

About the Author: Trevor Crawley

Trevor Crawley has been a reporter with the Cranbrook Townsman and Black Press in various roles since 2011.
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