The VIU Mariners can be found in their usual top spot in the women’s volleyball standings, though they took a bit of a different route to get there.
Vancouver Island University’s women’s v-ball team won two more matches on the road against the Douglas Royals last weekend, extending its streak to eight in a row in Pacific Western Athletic Association play.
At one point during the streak, the Mariners won 19 out of 20 sets. It’s a far cry from where the team started, getting swept in the season-opening matches against the rival Camosun Chargers just five weeks ago.
“Ever since, we’ve regrouped and we’re playing excellent volleyball,” said Shane Hyde, Mariners coach.
After those initial losses, he said the team needed to go back to the drawing board, and that’s what happened.
“We tweaked our defensive style quite a bit, we simplified a few things and then we just started to build on our confidence and our work ethic,” Hyde said.
Defence and blocking have been getting noticeably better, he said, and serving has been fantastic.
“So all the basics, we really went back and really hammered it out and made sure that we had it in check before we moved forward and I think that’s helped us out a lot,” he said.
It helps, too, that VIU’s veterans are leading the way – middle Tylar Turnbull, power hitter Megan Rosenlund and setter Chantal Cumming are all playing particularly well and rightside Mikayla Wagner was a force in the team’s most recent win with 19 kills.
All the M’s players will do their best to maintain momentum as they go into the final matches of the fall.
“They’ll want to finish off strong so that they can go into the break and relax,” Hyde said.
GAME ON … VIU plays the College of the Rockies Avalanche on Thursday (Nov. 26) and Friday at 6 p.m. both nights. Men’s matches follow at 8 p.m.