COTR women’s volleyball team ends regular season with loss

The Avalanche will look to regroup and prepare for the 2019 PACWEST Volleyball Championships

The women’s volleyball team at College of the Rockies has finished their regular season and is preparing for the 2019 PACWEST Volleyball Championships as they have secured the sixth seed.

Just coming back from a four-game road trip the Avalanche lost to Vancouver Island University on Feb. 7-8 and then to Camosun College on Feb. 9-10.

“Anybody you play, it’s always going to be tough, but especially VIU and Camosun, they are some of the stronger teams in the conference,” said head coach John Swanson.

“We just tried to do some smaller victories in the fact of just transitioning into taking on their attack and trying to play solid defence. I was happy with how we did that, it’s always hard to combat that and try to execute with some offence, but I thought we did well by and large and battled as best we can.”

Throughout the weekend play, Swanson explained the team blocked well.

“It’s something we have done all year, but with the serve/receive we have been struggling. We have had a hard time getting offence and trying to put pressure on them. There were moments of things we did really well, but there is some work we will have to do as well,” he said.

While they didn’t get a win on the weekend, there was a lot of learning opportunities for a young team like the Avalanche.

“We competed, we just have a hard time sometimes. We give up a run of four or five points in a row and that’s hard in this league. Teams are that close, and if you give away those five points in a row in stretches of a set it’s hard to come back,” said Swanson.

The team has been relentless all season and has not given up easily, it was showcased on the road this past weekend, and is an aspect they will bring into provincials.

Some of the things the team will look to improve on this week include their serve/receive.

“If we are playing teams like Camosun, or that kind of serving team we will definitely work on simulating how they serve to us. We can do that, which I’m happy about. We have players that can do it and some machinery that can stimulate that,” said Swanson.

Throughout the year, Swanson notes the team has improved on different areas of their game. An example would be in the first semester the team was missing serves.

“We are now missing less serves, which is good. We are not a hard ace serving team, but we are making fewer errors so that’s encouraging,” he said.

The College of the Rockies is hosting the 2019 PACWEST Volleyball Championships, and the team has a bye week before the big event.

The Avalanche do not know who they are going play, but it will be either Douglas College or Camosun, as the rest of the conference plays this coming weekend.

“Obviously it could change with one weekend to go, but we are going to prepare for two different teams that we think we might see and it’s not like they are the complete opposites, so that’s kind of nice. They have some similarities in what they do,” said Swanson.

Being able to host the event, Swanson says is going to be special.

“It’s a huge help, there is no doubt about it, and I think it’s really exciting for the community of Cranbrook to have both the men and women coming — there will be some fantastic volleyball … It will be fantastic for our team and the guys. I’m really looking forward to it,” he said.

The women’s team will start their quarter-finals on Feb. 21 at 6 p.m. at the COTR gym. They will find out who their opponent is this weekend.

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