RECAP - VIU Women's Volleyball first exhibition matches of 2019/20 season Sept 21-22.
The tournament was hosted at Douglas College over 3 days, but the Mariners were hosting their own Junior Girls High School tournament so they were forced to condense their games into only 2 days. In fact, the Mariner squad played 4 matches in less than 24 hours. The matches were all against very strong teams. The first match was Saturday at 3:30pm against Ambrose College out of Calgary. The Mariners had only half their squad due to refereeing duties back home, but still managed to take the match in 4. A few hours later VIU Mariners were at it again this time versing Briercrest College, last year's ACAC silver medalists. The Mariners were balancing out their line-up as much as possible to keep their players fresh. The match was a barn burner going to 5 sets. Briercrest was playing incredible defense and the rallies were long and tiring. The match was maybe a foreshadowing of what could come later in the season at the CCAA playoffs. The Mariners offense proved to be too strong in the end and with a 15-5 convincing 5th set win the VIU squad was done for the night. Eleven hours later the team was back in the gym this time to take on the ever so skilled Douglas College Royals. The two teams are no strangers to battles having played each other in the past 3 years PACWEST Championships as well as the National finals in 2017. The Mariners mustered up enough energy to win again in 5 sets with both squads using as many players as possible throughout the match. Immediately following the match the Mariners took on the UFV Casacades. The Mariners were very tired and fielded a group that consisted of seniors as well as rookies throughout the match. The Mariners dropped a 9-3 lead in the 5th set to lose their 1st pre-season match of the year. "The tournament was a great measuring stick for us," explained head Coach of the Mariners, Shane Hyde. "We were able to shake the rust off and get some minutes for those players who are new to our program. Anytime you can play these types of high calibre teams its great for your programs development. I am pleased with how we played, but I also can see that there is a lot of work ahead to get us game ready. We have the talent now we need to get back in the gym and make our weaknesses our strengths."