Avs return home from tough road trip

Both men's and women's teams run into stiff competition from VIU and Camosun College.

The road was not kind to both Avalanche volleyball teams this weekend, as the men and women were blanked by Camosun College and Vancouver Island University.

The Avs ran into some tough competition during their excursion to the Island, dropping all four matches to tough teams to close out their fall semester schedule.

The trip started off with a stop at VIU, where the men lost 3-1 on Thursday and 3-0 on Friday, while the women were blanked 3-0 in both matches.

Rolling into the weekend, the Camosun College Chargers put up a fight, dumping the men 3-0 on Saturday and 3-1 on Sunday, while the women took a set away in each match, with a final scores of 3-1.

The men fell to fifth place, two points behind Capilano University, while the women have nowhere to go but up, and are  two points behind Douglas College Royals.

Despite the record, some of the matches were very close.

The men were within a few points in a couple sets in their last match against Camosun, while the women put up a scrap against the Chargers on Saturday, winning the first set, and playing within a few points of the following three.

The women, which struggled with their last few matches, failed to pull off a win during the trip, which was a little frustrating because they played very well for the most part, according to head coach Agata Bendkowska.

“You could tell that every that everyone was tired and we could not focus longer than five minutes,” said Bendkowska, regarding her team’s first game. “The next day, everybody showed up, ready to go, they went hard against VIU.”

Despite the score, the rematch was tense, as the Avs traded VIU point for point, before the Mariners earned the win by pulling away at the end of each set.

“We lost, but that second loss was a good loss,” added Bendkowska. “We lost to a good team, we were fighting and we showed them that it’s not easy to beat the College of the Rockies.”

Camosun proved to be another formidable challenge, and the women’s Avs responded in kind, playing well against their opponents, but the Chargers ended up with the wins.

“I’m not disappointed, but I couldn’t find what was missing,” said Bendkowska. “We started a little slower, but then we picked it up really quickly and played really well.

“…I think that they struggled a bit mentally. The pressure that they had was a little too much and they could not relax. That pressure was too much for them, but physically and technically, it was good volleyball, they were doing exactly what they should be doing.”

The teams will practice together for the next week or two before breaking for the Christmas holiday. The Avs open the spring semester at home by hosting Camosun College, who will make the trip into the Kootenays.