The Avalanche men’s volleyball team captured a bronze medal at the Pacwest championship with a win in the tiebreak set over the Camosun College Chargers.
After getting handily beat in the opening set, the Avs came back in four to force a tiebreak, which they won to earn the hardware.
“We started out kind of flat and I challenged the guys and said it shows your true character if you give up now,” said Avs head coach Steve Kamps.
“After getting stomped in the first set, we fought our way into the match and ended up winning 18-16 in the fifth set, so it was right down to the last point and some big plays in the fifth set and the guys are really excited.”
The final set scores stood at 14-25, 25-19, 17-25, 25-21, 18-16.
At the tournament, Avs right side Curtis Stockton was named the Pacwest male player of the year and also to the first all-star team. He consistently led the Pacwest standings for kills, and is on top of the nation-wide CCAA rankings.
Stockton said the Avs were able to regroup and focus on their way to the win after a tough opening set.
“I think Camosun had it in their minds that they were going to be in that gold medal final, where we earned every set we played this year. We haven’t really rolled over and died, so we wanted to win.
“It didn’t matter if it was seventh or eighth place, we were going to work our hardest. For some of our guys, it was their last couple games for volleyball win our team, so we wanted to go out with a bang.”
The win eased the pain of a flat match in the semifinal against the top-ranked Columbia Bible College Bearcats which romped to a 25-18, 25-20, 25-19 win in three sets to earn the berth to the gold-medal match.
“We felt we could match up pretty well to Columbia Bible College if we served tough and pass their serve, we felt like we could beat their big block and we, unfortunately, didn’t serve or pass real well,” said Kamps.
“Against a team where the shortest guy is 6’5”, it proved to be too difficult for us.”
To open the tournament, the Avs went up against their hosts in North Vancouver, the Capilano University Blues, and tallied a 3-1 win with set scores at 25-23, 25-22, 24-26, 26-24.
That win knocked the Blues out of the tournament, which was a pretty satisfying feeling, said Kamps.
“Basically the same team back as last year, the defending provincial champs and so that was a big win for us, we kind of grinded it out,” said Kamps. “We fought our nerves all night, but the guys came out on top on Thursday, and put them out of the tournament, so that was huge for us.”
Stockton wasn’t the only Avalanche player honoured at the tournament as Zack Fedechko was selected for the men’s all-rookie team.