VIU women’s volleyball team on track

VIU’s women’s and men’s volleyball teams host the Fraser Valley Cascades on Friday (Nov. 1) and Saturday.

VIU Mariners player Mikayla Wagner goes for a kill during a match against the Camosun Chargers earlier this month at the Vancouver Island University gym.

VIU Mariners player Mikayla Wagner goes for a kill during a match against the Camosun Chargers earlier this month at the Vancouver Island University gym.

Starting the season with three losses is out of the ordinary for Vancouver Island University’s women’s volleyball program, and it raised some eyebrows.

“For the general public that sees our program, everybody’s panicking except for me,” said Shane Hyde, the team’s coach. “I’m liking what I’m seeing.”

VIU’s women broke through with a win Saturday and the team is figuring out how its pieces fit together on the v-ball court. An injury to all-Canadian middle Ashley Van Acken has affected the mix. Hyde said three rookies are starting, and players have been switching around their positions on the court.

“It’s been kind of this chess match of trying to see which person works best in what scenario,” said the coach.

He said he’s happy about the program’s youth movement. Some of the women who didn’t get much playing time last year are taking on bigger roles, and the coach said he likes the leadership shown by veterans such as Tylar Turnbull and Van Acken.

Hyde said there was a turning point this season where he realized that there’s an opportunity this year to not only coach, but to teach, and he’s excited about that.

“Here’s a new, interesting challenge,” Hyde said. “We’ve talked about it a lot as a group and I think the group’s ready for this challenge.”

GAME ON … VIU’s women’s and men’s volleyball teams host the Fraser Valley Cascades on Friday (Nov. 1) at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Saturday at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. at the VIU gymnasium.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com

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