The Vancouver Island University (VIU) Mariners struck gold at the 2019 PACWEST Volleyball Championship this weekend.
Top volleyball players from around the Pacific West were in Cranbrook, as the College of the Rockies hosted the provincial championship Feb. 21-23.
Both Avalanche teams were knocked out in their quarter-final matchups and could not compete for a medal.
On Saturday, Feb. 23, the medal rounds began with bronze up for grabs between the women’s Camosun Chargers and Capilano Blues.
The fifth-ranked Blues were able to upset the third-ranked Chargers to take the game 3-1. Blues outside hitter Isabela Lima had a team-high 15 kills in the match, with Meghan Koven adding 11 kills in the bronze-winning effort.
The men’s bronze medal match saw the third-ranked Capilano Blues go against top-ranked Douglas College Royals.
Offence for the Blues was spread out throughout the lineup with outside hitter Justin Yee having a team-high eight kills, while adding three digs.
It was the second bronze medal for Capilano on the day, as the men’s team defeated the Royals 3-0.
A highly anticipated gold medal match on the women’s side saw the first and second ranked teams go head-to-head.
VIU proved to be too much for the Douglas Royals and downed them 3-0. VIU took home gold — their fifth in the last 10 years. Douglas College — last year’schampions — earned silver for the 2018-19 season.
Danielle Groenendijk had 12 kills for the Mariners, while Karoline Tormena had 11 of her own. The Royals had a team-high six kills for outside hitter Caet McCorkell, who had 22 total attempts throughout the match.
On the men’s side, the Mariners continued their dominance in Cranbrook, defeating the second-ranked Camosun Chargers 3-1, and ended Chargers’ four-time conference championship title.
This was the first time the VIU men’s team has won the PACWEST conference championships. To help them to their win, Braydon Brouwer and Vedran Obradovich both had 14 kills to lead their offence.
VIU will now head to the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Associations National Championship.