COTR Avalanche warm up in Red Deer

The reigning PacWest women's champions take on the best of the ACAC in four exhibition contests in Red Deer, Alberta this weekend.

  • Sep. 29, 2016 10:00 a.m.

Brad McLeod

The College of the Rockies women’s volleyball team are headed north this weekend to play in four preseason games at the Wild Rose Classic in Red Deer, Alberta.

The Avalanche, who kick off the regular season on October 13, will take on the Ambrose Lions and the Lethbridge College Kodiaks on Friday, September 30, before closing out their preseason against Red Deer and Augustana on Saturday.

Coach John Swanson is excited for the tournament and thinks that it will be a good chance to see what this year’s team is made of, and potentially get a preview of what’s to come if they can repeat as conference champions.

“The Red Deer tournament is good for us because, unlike teams that we play in the PACWest, these teams are from the ACAC [so] we’ll get a look and see what kind of talent they have if we are fortunate [enough] to get back into nationals,” Swanson said. “But the other thing too is, it allows us to play some teams that we wouldn’t normally play […] which is kind of nice because when you play the same team over and over can get a bit stale.”

Swanson said that the tournament will provide quality competition and that they will be squaring off against some very strong teams, which should get them ready for the regular season.

Unlike their scrimmage play so far, where the Avs rotated their entire roster and lost a number of games to Ambrose on September 8 and 9, Swanson said that starters should get the majority of the playing time for both his team and on the opposing sides at the Wild Rose Classic. The team on the court this weekend will be close to what they’ll look like in the regular season.

“It’s not that we didn’t play well [against Ambrose, three weeks ago], [it’s just that] we had everyone play equal time and I think that [Ambrose] were a little more experienced and had probably had a little bit more practice time,” he said. “It was an opportunity to get a lot of players playing and get familiar [and comfortable] with each other.

“[In] Red Deer, I will certainly have higher expectations of how we perform […] I’m expecting that our team will perform at a higher level — that doesn’t necessarily mean wins or losses — but as long as we’re progressing, that’s all I can ask [for] as a coach.”

Despite coming off a season in which they dominated their competition on route to winning the school’s first PACwest championship, Swanson doesn’t envision his team getting complacent this year.

“I don’t think we’re going to have over-confidence, I think we’re going to be in a situation where we still have to work hard,” Swanson said. “[We still have to] do all the little things to be successful without just showing up on a court and beating everybody.”

This year’s team will be a mix of last year’s championship squad and new players. There are eight women returning from the 2015-16 team and also nine new recruits. The team, however only travels with 14 players.

Swanson said he is very pleased with both the new additions and the veterans, and believes that they are already meshing well together.

“Because we had success last year, [the new players] buy in pretty quickly [to] what work ethic is needed and [the program’s] expectations,” he said. “We want them to enjoy it but we also want them to be playing at high level and challenge themselves.”

The Avs first game of the tournament starts at 4:30pm on Friday in Red Deer, and the last is set for 5:00pm on Saturday. They open their regular season on the road at Camosun where they play the Chargers on October 13 and 14.They then head to Vancouver Island University on October 15 and 16, before finally returning for their home opener on Friday, October 28 where they’ll host Douglas College.

Just Posted

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interior Health COVID-19 cases falling slower than the rest of B.C.

More than a third of provincial cases announced Thursday came from the Interior

Students at Creston Valley Secondary School put together an art installation of a replica residential school room. (Photo by Kelsey Yates)
Creston students create art installation of residential school room

The replica was decorated with a small bed, school uniform, and notes written with pleas for help

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

It happened this week in 1914

June 13 - 19: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers… Continue reading

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Patrick O’Brien, a 75-year-old fisherman, went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search for lost fisherman near Victoria suspended, U.S. Coast Guard says

The 75-year-old man was reported missing Thursday evening

Most Read