The Avs are hitting the home court again this weekend, hosting the visiting Capilano University Blues, and will be facing some tough competition.
For the men, the Avs are facing the reigning Pacwest champions, who won the league title in the College of the Rockies gym last spring.
The ladies are facing a Capilano team that is currently ranked third in the Pacwest standings, and feature a few former CIS players.
Both Avs teams have had a week of practice after opening their home schedule against the Royals last weekend. The men split the record with a win and a loss, while the women dropped both matches.
“We were playing hard, we were trying hard,” said men’s Avs libero Scott Bedell. “We stopped worrying about playing for the crowd and started playing for ourselves and our team, and that seemed to help us through the whole thing.”
Bedell said the team couldn’t really figure out what they were struggling with in the rematch, which they lost in a tiebreak set at 3-2.
However, there are lessons to be learned in losing, which were applied in practice this week.
“Emotional management right now,” said Bedell. “We were kind of on a roller coaster ride when emotionally, we were there, we were playing really well, staying positive, but as soon as the other team would get a few points on us, they’d go on a run.
“Emotional management was lacking, and we got in a rut for a while and that cost us a few sets there, so that was our biggest problem I think.”
Bedell said the men’s Avs have seen some video of the Blues in action, and prepared a little around that.
“It looks like they will have pretty much the same team as last year,” said Bedell. “They won provincials here last year, but that’s almost good for us, because we know what we should expect.”
The women have also hit the practice court, and working on a few things that exposed them last weekend against the Royals.
“We’ve been focusing a lot on serve-receive, so passing off the serve and working on movement and stuff, communication, a lot of back row balls,” said setter Julie Pilon. “Mainly serve-receive, because that’s what we struggle with and just regular offence.”
Though the ladies have had a tough go in some matches, they’ve been competitive, pushing a few opponents to very close set scores before being undone by the pressure.
“Especially because we’re so young, we don’t have that experience that older players do to finish,” said Pilon. “We panic a little but we’re definitely working on it.”
It’s the first meeting between the two teams, but Pilon and the rest of the Avs have done a bit of scouting work on their opponents.
“They have some really good hitters. They have two players that were in the higher league—CIS—and they swing really well. They have a fifth year libero who digs everything,” Pilon said.
“But their middles are weaker, so we’re going to try to move them around a lot and make them guess where we’re putting the ball.”
The ladies match begins at 6 p.m. on Friday, followed by the men at 8 p.m. Rematches go down on Saturday afternoon, with the women at 1 p.m. and the men at 3 p.m.