Revamped men’s v-ball team shows character

Vancouver Island University’s men’s volleyball team was tested right away in the 2012-13 PacWest season in matches Friday and Saturday.

VIU Mariners rightside Tyler Berthelsen bumps the ball during a practice drill on Tuesday evening at the Vancouver Island University gymnasium.

VIU Mariners rightside Tyler Berthelsen bumps the ball during a practice drill on Tuesday evening at the Vancouver Island University gymnasium.

The VIU Mariners might have found a turning point in the season on the very first weekend.

Vancouver Island University’s men’s volleyball team was tested right away in the 2012-13 Pacific Western Athletic Association season in matches Friday and Saturday in Victoria.

After falling to the Camosun Chargers in three straight games on Friday, the M’s men dropped the first game 25-11 on Saturday, about as lopsided as volleyball gets.

Coach Abe Avender challenged his guys to find something in themselves. They did, coming back to win in five sets.

“We found that groove a little bit and it was huge to have a character win two games into the season,” Avender said.

Up-and-down play might be something to be expected from the Mariners early this season as they get to know each other on the court. There are 10 new faces on this year’s team, so it will take some time to jell.

“As a coach it’s fun to find out what works well and what doesn’t work well and find those game plans that this group will benefit from,” Avender said.

The premier addition to the roster might be Diego Bustos, a rightside hitter from Tijuana, Mexico who joins the M’s after playing junior college v-ball in San Diego.

“He’s going to be a moose this year,” said the coach. “He was our best player all weekend.”

The Mariners will be led in the middle again by Lee Hamilton, the 6-foot-7 veteran, who makes for an imposing front with 6-foot-8 Kyle Duperron.

Libero Marco Arnold has impressed immediately as he takes on the starter’s role, and VIU has depth at setter with Adam Tishenko and Dillon Collett. Rookie leftsides Zach Grigg and Niall Cobbe will be contributors right away.

“With this group and the level of skill we have, I think if we can jell and become a team, we could push for even a better season than last year,” said Avender. “It’s exciting. It’s a different group completely and it’s kind of like starting a journey.”

GAME ON … The team travels to the Fraser Valley to take on Columbia Bible College on Friday (Oct. 19) and Saturday. The first home match won’t be until Nov. 9 … For a season preview article on VIU’s women’s volleyball team, please click here.

Just Posted

Janice Coady, left, Aimee Chalifoux and Linda Milford at a vigil for Amy Watts on Wednesday, June 16, outside Nanaimo city hall. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
‘We need to do better,’ says mother of woman who was killed in Nanaimo

Vigil held for former outreach worker Amy Watts, whose body was found downtown June 3

The B.C. Ministry of Education has announced close to $44 million for the province’s schools for COVID-19 recovery. (News Bulletin file)
Nanaimo-Ladysmith school stakeholders say COVID-19 recovery funding can make a difference

B.C. Ministry of Education announces it expects a ‘near-normal’ return to class in September

Nanaimo artist Melissa Anderson has paintings on display at White Rabbit Coffee Co. for the next month. (Josef Jacobson/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo painter showcases coastal Island views in first exhibit in two years

Melissa Anderson presents ‘Seascapes’ oil painting exhibit at White Rabbit Coffee Co.

New COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island by local health area for the week of June 6-12. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control image)
New COVID-19 cases up on Island, but health officials say trends going right way

There were 22 new COVID-19 cases in Greater Victoria last week after just four the week before

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

The Co-op gas station at Whiskey Creek is burning after a camper van exploded while refueling just before 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
Exploding camper van torches Highway 4 gas station between Qualicum Beach and Port Alberni

Highway traffic blocked after Whiskey Creek gas station erupts into flames

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

Greater father involvement in the home leads to improved childhood development and increased marital satisfaction, says expert. (Black Press Media file photo)
Vancouver Island researcher finds lack of father involvement a drag on gender equality

Working women still taking on most child and household duties in Canada: UVic professor

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

Most Read