Sunshine, national tournament in forecast for VIU women’s volleyball

Mariners look to improve on team cohesiveness, unforced errors during road trip to San Diego.

When you’re as good as the Vancouver Island University women’s volleyball team, you can afford a little fun in the sun during a six-week mid-season break.

That’s the approach Shayne Hyde, coach of the No. 2 nationally ranked Mariners, is taking to get is team ready for the second half of the season.

And why not? The last time Hyde took his team to San Diego, where they’ll be visiting again from Dec. 27 to Jan. 5, VIU won the national title, in 2008.

“We’re hoping history can repeat itself,” said Hyde.

It won’t be all poolside refreshments, however. VIU will take B.C rival University of Fraser Valley and two teams from Quebec with them for training, scrimmages and a tournament to prepare for the second half of the season.

Fraser Valley, with two games in hand, enters the break with a 12-2 record, good enough for fourth place in the national rankings, while VIU is 11-1.

Hyde said it’s taking a little more time this season to generate some team cohesiveness, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

“Where we are right now is where I assumed we’d be with the talent we have on this team,” said Hyde. “We’ve kind of been rotating people around a little and our typical team cohesion isn’t there like it normally is like when you fight to find that starting six and you play that starting six and everybody has a role. We haven’t defined any roles yet because we have so many players who can step in and be starters.”

Hyde added that the Mariners have the luxury of developing the team more slowly this year because VIU hosts the national championship in March, which gives the Mariners an automatic berth in the tournament.

“It’s not like previous years where we have to develop a starting line and win all of our games,” he said. “We’re not just developing one lineup, but several lineups.”

Despite its high ranking, the team still has some weaknesses, including passing and unforced errors, which it will work on while in San Diego.

The Mariners are also being pushed to improve by schools in their own division.

Hyde said he’s somewhat surprised at the level of competition coming right out of the Pacific Western Athletic Association.

“There are usually only one or two teams gunning for us, but this year there are three legit teams that are really pushing us,” he said. “Columbia Bible College, Capilano and Fraser Valley are all there, but Columbia Bible College are definitely not the team they were in the first half.”

In the last two matches before the break, CBC, which is 4-7 overall, pushed VIU to five games both days, with VIU squeaking by 25-18, 23-25,25-20,19-25, 15-7 last Friday and 18-25, 25-19, 18-25, 25-15, 15-12 on Saturday.

VIU’s only set loss came Nov. 4 against Fraser Valley, which beat them 3-2 before VIU rebounded the next day with a strong 3-1 win.

“We’re still not at the top of our game yet,” said Hyde. “We’ll develop over the break and become tighter as a team.”

reporter2@nanaimobulletin.com

Just Posted

Two Nanaimo residents share $5-million lotto prize

Jesse Logan and Teresa Winters Day matched all six numbers in Aug. 21 Lotto 6/49 draw

East Coast comedian Ron James bringing ‘Full Throttle Tour’ to Nanaimo

James is at work on the first draft of his first book, ‘All Over the Map’

Thieves steal computers and two beers during downtown Nanaimo restaurant break-in

Break-and-enter happened Sept. 3 at Zalathai Thai Restaurant on Victoria Crescent

Nanaimo Boat Show full of ideas about how to get out on the water

Show takes place Sept. 19-22 at Waterfront Suites and Marina on Stewart Avenue

Nanaimo-Ladysmith candidates try to chart a path to victory

Conservatives, NDP, Liberals set sights on votes needed to unseat Green incumbent

Nanaimo remembers Terry Fox and runs for his cause

Terry Fox Run was held Sunday at Bowen Park

RCMP conclude investigation into 2017 Elephant Hill wildfire

Files have been turned over to BC Prosecution Service

B.C. wants to be part of global resolution in opioid company bankruptcy claim

Government says settlement must include Canadian claims for devastation created by overdose crisis

Island campground on the chopping block as ALC deadline looms

Owners fighting to continue facility’s operation, with a huge outpouring of support

B.C. ends ‘birth alerts’ in child welfare cases

‘Social service workers will no longer share information about expectant parents without consent’

U.S. student, killed in Bamfield bus crash, remembered as ‘kind, intelligent, talented’

John Geerdes, 18, was one of two UVic students killed in the crash on Friday night

Clippers earn five out of six points in BCHL action

Nanaimo splits with Alberni Valley, beats Chilliwack

UVic students killed in Bamfield bus crash were from Winnipeg, Iowa City

Authorities said the two victims were a man and a woman, both aged 18

Most Read