The Lady Avalanche continued to push back in PACWEST volleyball action this past weekend, earning back-to-back straight-sets sweeps over the Douglas College Royals at College of the Rockies.
“Their offense didn’t quite click all the time and our offense — everything that we ran was successful,” said Lady Avs coach Andrew Zurrin Tuesday afternoon. “Our setter, Kendra [Hainsworth], runs a great offense. She distributes the ball and we run a lot of motion. Half the time, I don’t know who she’s going to set because she just keeps picking different people, which keeps [opponents] blocking out of balance.”
Hainsworth, a 5-foot-5 native of Sylvan Lake, Alta., is a rookie on Zurrin’s squad.
Her play helped the Lady Avs to a straight-sets sweep (25-17, 25-23, 25-19) Friday and another straight-sets sweep (25-14-, 25-23, 25-21) Saturday.
The wins pushed the Lady Avs (6-8, 12 points) to within striking distance of the fourth-place Vancouver Island University Mariners (8-6, 16) in PACWEST play.
This week, Zurrin and his squad prepare for the Capilano University Blues (13-1, 26) who not only rank first in the PACWEST, but also third nationally on the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association charts.
The last time the Lady Avs faced the Blues Nov. 29 and 30, Capilano cruised to consecutive straight-sets victories on home court.
“This time we’re going to be ready for them,” Zurrin said. “The last time we played them, our rookies still were dealing with the pressure of the game and this past weekend they just looked so much calmer.
“Being more calm on the court is transferring to everybody. We get less mistakes and we’re able to push through on the big points.”
On the men’s side of the equation, the Avalanche fell to the Royals 3-1 (21-25, 9-25, 25-21, 26-28) Friday before suffering a straight-sets sweep (17-25, 17-25, 21-25) Saturday afternoon.
The back-to-back defeats drops the Avs to 3-11 and six points below the University of the Fraser Valley Cascades for fifth in PACWEST.
With only the Capilano University Blues (2-12) below them in the standings, this weekend represents an opportunity for the Avs to get back on track.
Action gets underway Friday at College of the Rockies, with the Lady Avs taking to the court at 6 p.m., followed by the men at 8 p.m.
The Lady Avs fire things up again Saturday at 1 p.m., with the men providing the encore at 3 p.m.