Men’s Volleyball Team looks to gain some ground in ultra-competitive conference
Flashes of brilliance and struggles with consistencies have the Capilano Blues Men’s Volleyball Team entrenched in the bottom half of the Pacific Western Athletic Association (PACWEST) conference with a 4-7 record.
After starting the season with three straight defeats, the Blues have been able to rally their way to around the .500 mark with spurts of exceptional defence and high-powered attack. Their comeback victory against the top-ranked Vancouver Island University Mariners on Nov. 18 captured the team’s potential to be a two-way powerhouse and provided an early highlight to the young season.
“I think a huge factor that contributed to the comeback was the constant pressure we applied through out the last two sets, causing VIU to play outside their comfort zone,” said setter Justin Yee. The win came on the heels of a furious comeback, where the Blues found themselves clawing their way back after falling in the game’s first two sets. The win also marked the first and only loss that the Mariners have suffered this season. “Passing well and converting digs into kills allowed us to go on two or three-point stretches, gaining us the lead and, in the end, the win,” Yee added.
The young season has also revealed some standout players in the Blues’ roster. Although the team is bereft of veterans — co-captain John De La Cruz stands as the only third year player on the unit — their host of new players have already made their presence felt on the upstart roster. Yee particularly cited two rookie left side hitters in Kevin Chiu and Cameron Fay for their emergence in recent games after a slow start to the season. Yee himself has been tremendous on the court, tallying up 105 kills in 39 sets played — good for third in the PACWEST.
As the winter break rapidly approaches, the Blues are sitting right in the middle of a tight PACWEST conference. Only four out of the eight teams will qualify for the provincial tourneys this coming February, and the Blues are looking to gain some momentum to get out of the middle of the pack. “Something that will definitely give us an edge over other teams with identical records is our attention to the smaller, less focused aspects of the game,” said Yee. The Blues have done well in maintaining their discipline and composure on the defensive end, positioning, as well as precise passing, and those little details could just be the key to a big run in the new year. “All the little things will improve our game as a whole,” Yee said.
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