Avalanche host Camosun College as season resumes

Both teams hoping to bounce back after getting swept by the Chargers in their final games before the Christmas break.

There’s an Avalanche warning in the Kootenays, but not of the snowy variety.

Both volleyball teams with the College of the Rockies are ready to come out swinging for their second half of the season as they host the visiting Camosun College Chargers this weekend.

Camosun was the final stop of their last road trip before the Christmas break. The Chargers ended up sweeping both Avalanche squads.

Both teams are hoping for a little more success this time around, especially on their home court.

“We ran into a very good team—a team that’s well-coached and arguably the best match I’ve seen a college team play on the Saturday, down in Victoria,” said men’s coach Steve Kamps. “When we played them, they couldn’t do anything wrong and they’re a good team, and we’re going to have to be better this time around.

“The nice part is, on the Sunday, we were competing with them, it was a close match, narrowly losing in the fourth set last time against them and that was our fourth game in four days, so I think we feel good about some thing and they have to jump on the bus trip this time and things should be a lot different in our gym.”

The ladies squad knows they’re in for a tough fight, but they’ve learned a few things through their two losses, said Bendkowska.

“That team is tall, they hit every ball, but they are also a little bit slower, because of their height,” said Bendkowska. “We know their weaknesses, so we’re going to going to try and take advantage as much as we can to place the ball in those empty spots and play smart.

“We’ve worked a lot on defence this week, so the girls know exactly how to play against them because they are going to hit at us, and we need to be ready to dig everything.”

Both teams have worked off some of the Christmas turkey this past weekend, competing in an exhibition tournament in Lethbridge. The ladies got three wins, and some confidence under their belts, while the men were beaten in all four matches.

Kamps takes a philosophical view of the losses, as exhibition gave him a chance to play some of his less experienced players and try some new things.

“We had control of some [matches], then made some subs and tried some different things, then ended up losing them, but really, at the end of the day, exhibition isn’t about wins and losses,” said Kamps.

“Overall, I’m happy. I think we grew as a team and learned some things about ourselves and just coming prepared to play all the time is the lesson that we learned there.”

Bendkowska and her assistant, Brian Millis, were happy with the way the ladies shook off their rust by winning three games in four matches.

“The girls had a very positive weekend after the break,” said Millis. “They had a chance to clear their minds after the first semester and come out strong and they played really well.”

Millis added that every other Pacwest team played this past weekend—except for them.

“Every team in our league was playing, except for us, so it was good to get those touches in before playing a league game this weekend,” Millis said.

The volleyball action begins on Friday at 6 p.m. at the College of the Rockies gym, starting with the ladies and followed by the men two hours later at 8 p.m.

Saturday action begins at  1 p.m. for the women and 3 p.m. for the men.