If you hear a loud commotion from the College of the Rockies over the next few days, it’s probably because an Avalanche has rolled into the gym.
The women’s volleyball team is hosting the annual Rumble in the Rockies preseason tournament, attracting 5 college teams from Alberta and a CIS squad from the University of Calgary.
The ladies, which feature nine-first year athletes on the roster, have been busy in practice, and now its time to get a feel for some real competition.
“This weekend, it’s all about putting girls in the right spots, trying them in different positions, everybody’s going to play,” said women’s head coach Agata Bendkowska. “We have lots of games so what we are really looking for, as a coaching staff, is to play them all.
“[There’s] lots of learning for us coaches, but we also want to be competitive. So even though everybody’s going to play, we also want to be very competitive.”
Allison Pepper, a returnee with the team who plays on the left side, said practices are usually broken up with different parts of the team working on offence and defence, and now it’s time to put that work to the test.
“Everything in practice we split up defence and we’re doing different things on and off, and we haven’t really had a chance to put everything together,” Pepper said, “so this weekend will be great to see how everyone moves together, figure out who works best with who in an actual game situation.
“…But everyone’s working really well together. We got lots of girls with lots of talent and I think we’re coming together more as a team now. Training camp was good week of getting to know each other, seeing how everyone can play together, that kind of thing.”
Bendkowska and her assistants are excited to see what the girls can do on the court, and who steps up to earn starting spots once the Pacwest season starts.
“The team looks really good,” said Bendkowska. “Definitely a new look, and it looks like the team has good potential.
“…They work really hard. Everybody’s on the same level right now, so everyone is working hard because we need to pick out our six best players to compete in the league.”
The tournament will be based at the College of the Rockies gym, however, the Mount Baker Secondary School gym will also host some games on Friday.
COTR vs Lethbridge 2 p.m.
COTR vs Medicine Hat 3:30 p.m.
COTR vs University of 6:30 p.m.
COTR vs Grant McEwan 12 p.m.
At Mount Baker Gymnasium
COTR vs Ambrose 3 p.m.
COTR vs Red Deer 9 p.m.
Playoffs are determined via round-robin standings.