There’s very few times, said VIU women’s volleyball coach Shane Hyde, that he can say he’s happy with his team’s performance after a loss. But Saturday’s provincial gold-medal match in Kelowna was one of those times. The Mariners ended up losing in five sets to the host UBC-Okanagan Heat, 25-27, 25-19, 25-21, 20-25, 15-7.
“Obviously there was the initial stinger when you’ve just lost the match and you’ve put all that work into a five-setter,” Hyde said. “But then we reflected on it and said, hey, we’ve got to take the positives out of this because there’s so many positives.”
The coach said the match was worthy of a national final, with an outstanding calibre of volleyball played in front of nearly 1,000 fans.
A momentum swing at the wrong time during the final set proved to be the difference, he said, but coming so close means that his team won’t be scared of facing the Heat if the two teams meet again at nationals this month.
“We pushed them to the limit and it could have went either way,” said Hyde.
Shenise Power, Dani Smith and Lindsay McLoughlin were named tournament all-stars at provincials.
The Canadian Colleges’ Athletic Association championships will be contested in Saint John, N.B. March 10-12.
The Mariners men, meanwhile, came extremely close to a provincial medal on the weekend in Kelowna, losing the bronze-medal game to the Douglas Royals on Saturday, 15-25, 25-23, 22-25, 25-18, 15-9.