VIU Mariners players Taylor Wickson, left, and Chantal Cumming celebrate during the CCAA national championship tournament in Welland, Ont., this week. CCAA photo

VIU Mariners players Taylor Wickson, left, and Chantal Cumming celebrate during the CCAA national championship tournament in Welland, Ont., this week. CCAA photo

VIU women’s volleyball wins back-to-back national titles

Vancouver Island University women defeat Kings College in final

The Vancouver Island University Mariners were able to stay on top of Canadian college volleyball.

VIU’s women’s v-ball team won the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association championship on Saturday, defeating the King’s College Eagles in straight sets in the final in Welland, Ont.

VIU won 25-18, 25-11, 25-16 in a history-making match, as the Mariners became the first Vancouver Island University team to defend a national title and also the first CCAA women’s volleyball team to win back-to-back championships.

“So much is going on right now. It feels great and honestly, I am just so happy that we won,” said VIU’s Danielle Groenendijk, speaking on Niagara College’s webcast after the game.

She had 16 kills and 13 digs in the match, Karoline Tormena was player of the match and Taylor Wickson had eight kills, including the championship-winning kill on match point.

The Eagles came into the final with a top-ranked offence, but the Mariners didn’t allow the opposition to get on the offensive.

“We had a few players that we had to key on, but we just focused, really, on our game and focused on what we had to do and adjusted from there,” Groenendijk said.

VIU setter Chantal Cumming was selected tournament MVP, Tormena and Wickson were first-team all-stars and Groenendijk and Andrea Cankovic were chosen second-team all-stars.

In other CCAA volleyball news, the VIU Mariners men won bronze at nationals in Red Deer, defeating the Keyano Huskies in five sets, 25-20, 25-20, 22-25, 28-30, 16-14. Braydon Brouwer had 19 kills and 13 digs, Doug Groenendijk had 15 kills and Jeff Webb had 11 kills and 13 digs.