Provincial preview for Mariners team

NANAIMO – Women’s volleyball team prepares to face Fraser Valley Cascades Friday and Saturday (Feb. 1-2)in Abbotsford.

Vancouver Island University Mariners player Ashley Van Acken puts up a block during Saturday’s volleyball game against Columbia Bible College Bearcats. The Mariners won three straight sets but will face stiffer competition during a road trip to Abbotsford to face the first-place Fraser Valley Cascades Friday (Feb. 1). VIU currently sits in second place in the standings.

This probably isn’t going to be the last time these teams meet up this winter.

Vancouver Island University’s women’s volleyball team is preparing to face the Fraser Valley Cascades on Friday (Feb. 1) and Saturday in Abbotsford.

With the Cascades in first place in the Pacific Western Athletic Association and the Mariners holding down second place, there’s a likelihood that the teams will be taking the court against one another again three weeks from now at provincials.

This week there won’t be any medals on the line, but the teams will be hungry to win. Both have honed their game since splitting a pair of matches at the VIU gym back in November.

Mariners coach Shane Hyde said last week his team is making strides on areas of its game it has been targeting, including communication, serve receives and gritty defence.

“The difference has been our practices,” he said. “We’ve stepped up our practices now and both sides are really pushing each other and the things that we’re wanting to work on we’re actually showing [improvement].”

Marlie Temple, VIU veteran, said the team feels confident no matter which players are on the court.

“As the season has gone on, the team chemistry … is built through good and bad games,” she said. “You know who’s playing beside you and how to make it [work] out there.”

GAME ON … VIU’s women’s and men’s teams are playing UFV this weekend on the road. The following weekend (Feb. 8-9) the Mariners v-ball teams will host the Douglas Royals at the Vancouver Island University gym.

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