An update on the team and their future plans
Mayumi Izumi // Contributor
This year marks the fourth season in a row that the Capilano Blues women’s volleyball team has won a bronze medal at Pacific Western Athletic Association (PACWEST). Meghan Koven, a fifth-year CapU student and seasoned player, described the team’s success with one word—“standards.”
The Capilano Blues have had many challenges to overcome, but the athletes have persevered through changes in team lineups, injuries and the implementation of a new coach. In June, Rob Gowe transferred from Simon Fraser University to become the head coach of the Blues.
“I think practices are going well, but we still have room for improvement in many aspects, including myself,” Coach Gowe said. “The transition from assistant coach to head coach is a challenge in the amount of time required to be as prepared as possible, which I am getting better at, but still have to improve.”
Gowe is also the Head Coach & Program Lead for Volleyball Regional Excellence program in North Vancouver, Head Coach for Team BC selects as well as Head Coach for Seaside Volleyball Club. He said that he is able to manage all the different teams because, “I have good coaches helping me at every level.”
The women’s volleyball team has an unusually high number of players this year. While most teams have 14 to 16, Capilano Blues have 21 strong athletes in their roster to choose from. The team ranges from 17- to 22-year-olds but despite the differences in age and the necessity of competition, the players have formed a strong bond quickly.
Kelsey Towers, a second-year player majoring in Human Kinetics explained one of the challenges of having a lot of players is that there is a “deeper bench.” This leads them to be respectfully competitive with each other because they have to compete for a spot on the court but off the court they are friends. One of the athletes new to the team is Rookie Eva Nagata, who was invited by Capilano University to play for the Blues from her hometown on the Faroe Islands, which is located halfway between Iceland and Norway. She accepted the invite because it provided an opportunity to play for a university team and believes that the day-to-day routine of practicing and the building of community has been a positive experience.
The Blues played their first two games of the season against the Douglas College Royals, October 11 and 12 in which the team lost the first game and won the second. Their next two games were on October 25 and 26 against the Vancouver Island Mariners.
As a team, the Capilano Blues have encountered challenges but support has emerged from the athletic department at CapU and the athletes have worked together to overcome the inevitable difficulties that arise. Through this, they have grown as a team.
This year, their goal is to win first place at Nationals in Quebec, although they would also be pleased with second place as they have previously come third. Until then, the team continues to train, improve and deal with the daily demands of being student athletes.
For more information on the Capilano University Blues teams visit www.athletics.capilanou.ca/landingindex