Come cheer on the Blues in their season opener
Mya Fraser (She/Her) // Sports Editor
Geraldine Yaris (She/Her) // Illustrator
The Blues women’s volleyball team will start their season at home against Columbia Bible College on Friday, October 27 at 6 p.m. After not being satisfied with their win-loss record last year, the team is determined for the season ahead. With a new head coach, the team can expect a fresh perspective, new ideas, strategies, and tactics that can ultimately help the team find more success in the months to come.
John Swanson was hired in May of 2023 and brings lots of PACWEST experience with him. He previously led a women’s team to a provincial gold medal and got to attend the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) national championships. As a player himself, he attained two national silver medals at different schools. He was named a CCAA All-Canadian in 1988 and was the PACWEST tournament MVP in 1989.
Vanesa Gatto is a fifth-year student and plays as a libero or left side. She was her team’s MVP last year and has one final season ahead of her. She is one of two seniors on the team, the other being her twin sister Anika Gatto. In addition to their strong returning players, they have an outstanding roster of rookies coming in as well as a decorated transfer student; it’s a more promising season ahead.
When asked about the team’s goals for the season, Gatto asserted, “Seeing as we did not make provincials last year, a big goal of ours is to make that cut. Additionally, when we do, we want to win a medal, if not win provincials.” On the state of the team, she expressed, “We want to build team cohesion as it is crucial for success. Building a strong, supportive team culture will help us reach our other goals as well.”
Their league consists of six teams: Capilano University, Camosun College, Columbia Bible College, College of the Rockies, Douglas College, and Vancouver Island University. Concluding the season, the top four teams will face off in the PACWEST championship tournament. The event will be hosted by the Douglas Royals February 23-24, 2024. The winner will head to Red Deer, Alberta for the CCAA nationals championship.
Gatto believes VIU or Camosun will be their biggest competitors due to their previous successes. However, she’s excited about the competition and to see how the teams have changed. On having Swanson as a new head coach for the season, Gatto says she’s excited to see how he pushes the team to new heights. “He is very skilled and knowledgeable. He is already emphasizing values such as work ethic, sportsmanship, and resilience, which can help reshape the team’s dynamic and identity.”
The schedule for the women’s volleyball team is on the Blues website. Also, be sure to follow their Instagram account @capuwvb for updates. Don’t miss the chance to cheer on the team in our gym during their first game of the season. Let’s go Blues!