March 13, 2018 - 9:00am
Mariners beat British Columbia rivals to claim victory
The Vancouver Island University (VIU) Mariners women’s volleyball team fought for every point during the national championship to claim gold.
Despite entering the championship ranked fourth for the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Women’s Volleyball National Championship, the VIU Mariners brought confidence, an enthusiasm to have fun and a new blocking strategy to the court. They beat their rivals the Douglas Royals with a relentless defence to claim victory in three out of four sets in the gold medal match.
“It was an outstanding feeling,” said Shane Hyde, Head Coach of VIU’s women’s volleyball team. “We continued to put pressure on the opponent and didn’t falter at any time.
Hyde attributes the win to adjustments the team made prior to competing at the championships both on the court and mentally. The team completely changed its blocking system only five practices before the competition.
“That was our strength,” said Hyde. “The girls were by far the best blocking team.”
Hyde said the team realized they had to do something different at nationals to secure a win. It was a season of ups and downs. The last two matches the VIU Mariners met the Douglas Royals on the court the team didn’t claim victory, but Hyde said he knew his team had the skill to become national champions.
"It was an incredible way to top off a great season for Mariners athletics," said Stephanie White, VIU's Director of High Performance Sport, Recreation and Physical Literacy. "Winning a second national championship is a credit to our coaches and out student athletes."
The nationals were held March 7-10 in Grand Prairie, Alta. and featured the top eight teams from across Canada.
2018 CCAA Women’s Volleyball National Championship Awards
Most Valuable Player: Mikayla Wagner
All Canadians: Mikayla Wagner
First Team All-Stars: Danielle Groenendijk and Chantal Cumming
Player of the Match
Match 2: Danielle Groenendijk
Match 7: Mikayla Wagner
Match 13 (Gold Medal Final): Taylor Wikson
Rachel Stern, Communications Officer, Vancouver Island University