The COTR Avalanche women’s team and men’s team in action against the Camosun Chargers, Jan. 20 and 21 respectively. Barry Coulter photos

The COTR Avalanche women’s team and men’s team in action against the Camosun Chargers, Jan. 20 and 21 respectively. Barry Coulter photos

Avs face top-ranked Camosun in playoff previews

COTR Avalanche hosting PACWEST championships at the end of February

Avalanche season is back in Cranbrook — with the return of College of the Rockies’ volleyball from the winter break.

The Men’s and Women’s Avalanche teams were back this weekend past, Friday and Saturday, Jan. 20 and 21, against the visiting Camosun Chargers.

Last weekend saw the Avs hosting VIU, where the men’s team split matches with the Mariners — a win on Friday and a loss on Saturday, with both matches going five sets. The women’s team lost both their matches against VIU.

But with the Camosun Chargers men’s and women’s teams being at or near the top of the PACWEST volleyball conference, the home weekend would be a good test for the Avs, who are hosting this year’s PACWEST championships in Cranbrook, February 24-25, 2023, at COTR.

The weekend was an important match-up for both women’s teams. Coming into the weekend, the Avalanche trailed the second place Chargers by six points in the standings. The Avs currently hold the final playoff spot.

Friday night’s match-up ended up going the distance — though it proved to be a five-set barnburner. The Avalanche got off to a roaring start, winning the first two sets 22-25, 20-25. But the Chargers fought back, and earned the comeback victory with wins in the last three sets, 25-14, 25-11, 17-15.

On Saturday, the Chargers swept the Avs 25-20, 25-16, 25-18.

On the men’s side, a Chargers-Avalanche match-up was highly anticipated. Camosun, number one in the Conference standings and the top team in the country, had sustained their only defeat of the season at the hands of the Avalanche, who are in second place in the standings. This for sure could be a playoff preview.

On Friday the Chargers bested the Avalanche in the first two sets 25-20 and 25-22, but the Avs came back with a vengeance, with a 25-21 victory in the third set and ta 25-16 win in the fourth. That fifth set was a see-saw affair, but the Chargers prevailed, 15-13.

On Saturday, the Avs kept things close, but the Chargers took the match in three sets, 25-21, 25-22, 25-20.

The Avalanche are now on the road for the rest of the regular season, to face Douglas, Capilano and Columbia Bible College, before returning to the College of the Rockies for provincials.