With the score tied at 21-21 in the third set on Saturday, the Avs looked as if they were moments away from putting a cap on their fourth straight win and ending the afternoon early.
The College of the Rockies men’s volleyball team had a two set lead against their opponents and only needed a tiny push to get their team to 4-4 on the season, and head off on another road trip with a perfect home record.
The Capilano Blues had other ideas. They took the set 25-23 and then won the next three to win their first match of the year.
The Avalanche blew their chance at another perfect weekend and while they still sit at a healthy 5th place in the PACWEST with a 3-5 record, they missed a golden opportunity to get back to square one.
“The third is when we should have taken care of business,” said head coach Herb Tepper, following Saturday’s match. “When it comes to the fifth set, it’s almost a coin toss at times [but] to give credit to Capilano, they played really well, it’s the best I’ve ever seen them play this season, so good for them.”
Overall Tepper was not pleased with his team’s play over the weekend, despite managing to pick up a 3-1 win on Friday night — their third straight victory.
“It was actually pretty rough [Friday] but we found a way to win and Saturday, the other team just outplayed us,” Tepper said. “[That’s] how it goes sometimes. We gave them the opportunity in the third set and they took advantage and they got on a roll and we just weren’t able to keep up with them at the end.”
On Friday night, the Avs opened the night with 25-22 and 25-17 wins to put them in good position to win the match. While they came out flat in the third, losing 25-15, they narrowly clawed their way to a 25-23 fourth and deciding set.
Saturday was a similar story but with a different outcome. The Avs started with a convincing 25-15 win, then clawed their way to a 28-26 decision before blowing a competitive third set.
The ending of the third could not have been more deflating. After outside hitter Patrik Toze kept Capilano at bay with a huge kill when it was 22-24, he was called for crossing the line on his subsequent serve and the set was over.
While the team argued ferociously, the referee’s decision stood and the team then dropped the fourth set 25-16.
Despite back-to-back aces from Toze at the midway point of the final frame, the men weren’t able to hold a lead and lost 15-13, to a young but very aggressive and tenacious Capilano side.
Middle blocker Spenser Janzen was named the Avs player of the match on Saturday and was solid all weekend with 6 digs, 14 kills and 4 blocks to show for his efforts. David Dobson, the player of the match on Friday, was also a key player for COTR with a team-leading 27 kills to go along with 9 digs, four blocks and three aces.
Toze was, once again, the team’s star. The second-year Australian led the team in digs with 23, as well as six blocks and eight aces — six of which came on Saturday alone.
While Tepper was not thrilled with the weekend, the plan still appears to be, to just continue to train and get better.
“We have one road trip left this semester, so we’re going to rest up a bit and then get ready to go on the road,” he said on the team’s upcoming plans.
The Avs next match will be on the road against Columbia Bible College on November 24. CBC is currently at the bottom of the conference standings with an 0-8 record so far this year. After back-to-back matches against CBC, the Avs will play two straight against the University of Fraser Valley to close out their play for the semester.