VIU Mariners player Chantal Cumming sets the ball during Friday night's match against the Camosun Chargers at the Vancouver Island University gymnasium.

VIU Mariners player Chantal Cumming sets the ball during Friday night's match against the Camosun Chargers at the Vancouver Island University gymnasium.

Mariners women ready for ‘do or die’ volleyball

NANAIMO – The VIU Mariners women’s volleyball team defeated the Camosun Chargers on Friday at home and on Saturday on the road.

All the emotions of the final home match of the season could be the right kind of preparation for provincial championships.

The VIU Mariners women’s volleyball team defeated the Camosun Chargers on Friday at home and on Saturday on the road to close out the PacWest regular season. The M’s won 18-25, 25-16, 25-14, 25-11 the first night, then 25-13, 25-23, 25-19 in the rematch.

VIU, which had already sewn up first place before the weekend, is well prepared for playoffs, said Kelsey Johnson, M’s libero, after Friday’s win.

“I think today was a good test…” she said. “Because we all were nervous coming into it and I think it’s only going to make us better going into provincials, dealing with those nerves.”

The M’s start with a bye and will watch the quarterfinals, then take the court for a semifinal match with huge implications.

“The next time we play, it’ll be a do-or-die situation where if we win it, we’re going to nationals, if we lose it, we’re going home…” said Shane Hyde, the team’s coach. “It’s not the intensity we’re talking about right now, it’s the extra focus and the extra pressure that these next games will have.”

GAME ON … Provincial championships will be held at Abbotsford’s Columbia Bible College starting Thursday (Feb. 25). VIU’s first match is Friday.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com