The VIU Mariners’ men’s volleyball team captured the bronze medal at the PacWest Provincial Volleyball Championships, held February 26-28 in Victoria.
The Mariners’ opponent in the bronze medal match was the fourth-seeded Columbia Bible College Bearcats. The first set between the two teams went down to the wire as the Mariners picked up the 25-22 victory. The second set was even closer than the first, as the Mariners needed extra points to take a 2-0 lead in the match with a 28-26 second set victory. The third set was just as close as the first two, but once again the Mariners managed to come out on top as VIU picked up the 26-24 victory in the third set, ending an extremely close three-set match.
The Mariners found themselves in the bronze medal game after suffering a semi-final loss to the host Camosun Chargers. The Chargers came out strong and won the match’s opening set 25-17. After the Mariners captured the second set with a dominating 25-10 win, the Chargers put the match away with victories in the third and fourth sets, 25-19 and 25-21.
The Mariners, who entered the Provincials as the third place team, advanced to the semi-finals with a hard-fought five-set victory over the sixth place Capilano Blues in the quarter-finals. The Blues jumped out to an early lead in the match, winning the first two sets 25-23 and 25-21. But the Mariners refused to be eliminated early as the team bounced back to win the final three sets of the match 25-5, 25-15, and 16-14.
The victory in the bronze medal game was extra sweet for fifth year Mariners Diego Bustos and Rylan Brouwer, who ended their Mariner careers on a winning note.