College of the Rockies Avalanche volleyball program is riding high after hosting the PACWEST Championships February 24 – 26. COTR noted in a press release that the event was sold out, with great crowds for all eight matches and the men’s Avalanche team walked away with a bronze medal.
The Avs earned their bronze with a three-set sweep over the fourth seeded Douglas Royals. Gustavo Bertoli led the way both offensively and defensively, earning himself Player of the Match. Vittor Mateus, who was playing in his last game with the Avs, quarterbacked the offense to perfection.
“To win our second consecutive PACWEST bronze medal is a great accomplishment for our team and our program,” said head coach Cisco Farrero. “Our goal all season long was to be conference champions and qualify for CCAA Nationals and while bronze leaves us hungry for more, it is still significant and important.
“Our team played with tremendous effort and heart in front of a boisterous home crowd in both of our matches. This entire season has been one to celebrate for our team and we finished it with a win. I’m very proud.”
The women’s team fought hard in their own bronze medal match but came up short, losing in four sets to the Douglas Royals. Claire Newsome was named Player of the Match.
“While we lost both the semi final and bronze games this past weekend, I couldn’t be prouder of our performances against two very talented teams,” said women’s head coach Bryan Fraser. “Our team played the style and at the level we have been working towards all season.
“It’s exciting for our program moving forward that we were able to perform on such a big stage at the right time of the year. I will be forever grateful to this group as they have set a new standard for the way our women’s volleyball program fights for every point and outworks every team we encounter.”
The Camosun Chargers and VIU Mariners took home gold and silver for both men’s and women’s championships.
College of the Rockies players Claire Newsome, Gustavo Bertoli, and Vittor Mateus were all named Tournament All-Stars. Mateus was also named Player of the Year and men’ coach Cisco Farrero earned Coach of the Year honours.