The College of the Rockies Avalanche volleyball season opened this weekend with a bang, with two exciting games against the Douglas College Royals on Friday and Saturday, October 18 and 19.
The men’s team lost both of their games with scores of 3-1. The women’s team won both of their games; 3-2 on Friday and 3-1 on Saturday. At Saturday’s matchup, the play was highly competitive with both the Royals and Avalanche women’s teams winning one set going into the third. The Avs dominated in the period, outshooting the Royals 25-14 and had solid control of the rest of the game.
These were head coach Bryan Fraser’s first games with the Avalanche and he said he is really happy with the results.
“The girls are playing solid volleyball,” Fraser said. “They’ve bought in to the system that was brought in to the team and it’s paying off and I’m excited.
“I got lucky, I kind of inherited this group of girls and they’re all really awesome and fun to work with, it’s a joy for me.”
Fraser attributed their success in part to their solid defence.
“Defence has been pretty big for us and so we’re giving ourselves multiple chances per rally,” he said. “Attacking-wise our offence is flowing at the moment so our attackers are able to be aggressive and just overall patience. We know they’re a good team, they’re also a good defensive team and we know we’re going to have to be able to hit multiple balls to get points and those are our strengths.”
Men’s head coach Cisco Farrero said that he felt his team didn’t play their best throughout the weekend.
“Douglas is good and you have to play your best to beat a team like that, I thought we played alright, we did some things well,” he said. “We did certain facets better last night.”
He said that their “big-dog” player Caleb Petes was unstoppable on Friday, but they lacked a strong supporting cast. On Saturday he said that Peters wasn’t as high-efficiency but the supporting cast played better.
“We have to have them both going at the same time to beat a team like Douglas for sure.”
Peters scored 44 per cent of the team’s points on Friday night and on Saturday still had double as many points as any other player on the team.
“He is our high-volume guy, our high-velocity guy,” Farrero said. “I think we were a little bit more balanced but we never really got him rolling to the same level as he got going last night, so it’s sort of that double-edged sword where we’ve got to have them both going at the same time where he’s high efficiency and our supporting cast steps up.”
Farrero said that he has a great group of guys and says that they are ultra-competitive, meaning they are pretty upset that they lost.
“I’d much rather our team be upset that we lost than not care,” he said. “So I think that we have to understand the whys and how to fix those things.”
The Avs will head to Abbotsford on Wednesday to play four games in four days beginning Thursday night. Farerro said that there isn’t much time to work on new things so their focus will be on being as healthy as possible going into it.
“We were a little bit banged up to start today, after last night a couple guys were sore so it forced a couple of changes to our lineup. I think that now our whole team has a taste for it, we have four games in four days coming up and we have to win all four. So it’s really going to be about being as healthy as possible going into the weekend.”