Sports

Mariners hoping for playoff sendoff

Vancouver Island University Mariners volleyball player Kenzie McDonald, front, bumps the ball during a match against the Douglas Royals last Friday night at the VIU gymnasium. - GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin
Vancouver Island University Mariners volleyball player Kenzie McDonald, front, bumps the ball during a match against the Douglas Royals last Friday night at the VIU gymnasium.
— image credit: GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin

The Vancouver Island University gym, and the teams inside, will be hopping. The VIU Mariners volleyball and basketball teams will both close out their Pacific Western Athletic Association seasons with home games this week.

It’s rare that both the v-ball and b-ball teams take home court on the same weekend, but that’s the case starting Thursday (Feb. 14).

The women’s and men’s volleyball teams play the Camosun Chargers on Thursday at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. respectively.

On Friday it’s the hoops teams taking centre court, as the Mariners women and men play the Columbia Bible College Bearcats at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Saturday is busiest of all, with the M’s basketball teams hosting the Kwantlen Eagles at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. and then the volleyball teams serving up matches against the Chargers at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.

These final volleyball matches will be meaningful for VIU. The women’s team (19-3) is hot on the heels of the first-placed Fraser Valley Cascades (20-2) and UFV, on paper, has a more difficult opponent this weekend so the M’s could still squeeze out first place. The men’s M’s (15-7) can’t finish first, but they can secure their second-place standing.

Over the long weekend the women’s M’s swept their home matches against the Douglas Royals, winning 25-20, 25-12, 25-19 on Friday and then 25-16, 25-12, 25-22 on Saturday. Leanna Gildersleeve led VIU with nine kills on Friday while Alyssa Wolf led the way Saturday with eight kills.

The Mariner men split with the top-ranked Royals, winning the first night 25-22, 18-25, 11-25, 25-23, 15-13 and then falling 20-25, 25-16, 25-14, 25-20. Lee Hamilton was the most dangerous M's player in both matches, compiling 17 kills on Friday and 14 on Saturday. Zach Grigg had 10 kills in Friday's match.

COURT SHORTS … For more on the VIU basketball teams, please click here … To see another photo from last weekend's volleyball, click here … Admission at the gym is $6 for adults, $4 for seniors and alumni, $2 for students and free to kids nine and under.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com

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