The Avalanche had a weekend of mixed results in first home action at the College of the Rockies gym, as the men walked away with two wins, while the ladies were bested in both matches against the visiting Columbia Bible College Bearcats.
It was polar opposites on the scoresheet, as the men’s Avs took both matches on Friday and Saturday against the Bearcats by scores of 3-0. However, the women’s Bearcats proved to be a tougher challenge, beating the Avs by the same scores in both games.
The male Bearcats put up a good fight in the first set of the opening match on Friday, coming within a few points of the win, but the Avalanche took it by a three-point spread. The boys in blue handily took the remaining two sets for the sweep to earn their home win of the season.
Saturday’s match was a much tighter affair, as the Bearcats sharpened up and forced the Avs to earn their set victories after both teams remained tied at 25 points in the first and third sets.
The Avs had a bit more breathing room in the middle set, getting the win with a seven-point spread.
“It’s two big wins for us,” said men’s Avalanche head coach Steve Kamps. “A team we need to beat and a team we need to beat at our home gym so it should be a real confidence boost for the guys and we need to continue to get better.”
Even though the Bearcats exposed some of the weaknesses on his team, Kamps said he liked how his guys stayed composed when the sets got close.
“Our ability to close out matches,” said Kamps, on what gave his team the edge after Saturday’s win. “Especially today—CBC played much better, they were pretty flat on Friday night. Today they came to play, were scrappy and we were just patient after 20 [points] and won a lot of those rallies.”
The men’s Bearcats roster features Samuel Kemperman, a Cranbrook native, along with Matt Lieuwen, the brother of former Kootenay Ice goaltender Nathan Lieuwen.
The Avalanche ladies had two tough games as they ran into a talented opponent, according to head coach Agata Bendkowska.
The women put up a good fight in the first set of Friday’s match, but the Bearcats had an easier time winning the remaining two.
Saturday was more of the same, with the Avs coming up short in the first two sets, before battling to within five points in the final.
“We played against a really good team, there’s no doubt about that,” said Bendkowska. “Those guys were hitting with us, played defence really well, weren’t missing serves, so it was hard to get a point off them.”
Along with facing a tough team, it seemed as if her girls were having trouble limiting mistakes on the court as well, Bendkowska added.
“We were struggling to get the ball over the net, to put that ball in to make a point on top of that.”
“…Something was missing and I don’t think that communication, that chemistry, was there.”