Ben Chessor
The Navigator

The Mariners’ men’s volleyball team left everything they had on the court in the quarter finals of the PacWest Provincials on Thursday, February 20 against the Douglas College Royals.

The Mariners lost their last six games coming into their quarter final match against Douglas. The first set went back and forth, with both teams battling hard to take the early lead, but the Mariners eventually fell short, losing the first set 25-23.

Douglas made much quicker work of the Mariners in the second set, picking up a convincing 25-13 victory, meaning the Mariners were only one set away from elimination.

With their backs against the wall in the third set, the Mariners came out hard. The Mariners took the lead early, and despite a late charge by the Royals, the Mariners won the third set 25-21 and sent the game to a fourth set.

Douglas came out strong during fourth quarter and took the early lead over the Mariners. Douglas held the lead until late in the fourth set, making it 21-18. But the Mariners refused to quit, taking the late lead over Douglas and forcing a fifth and deciding set with a 26-24 win.

Despite the valiant effort to force a fifth set, the Mariners’ comeback fell just short in the final set. Douglas took the early lead in the fifth and held on to win the set 15-10 and capture the match 3-2.

The Mariners finished the PacWest regular season in sixth place with a record of 10-14, giving the Mariners 20 points. VIU finished with the same amount of points as College of the Rockies Avalanche, but COTR was given fifth place because they had a better sets won/lost record than the Mariners. The Columbia Bible College Bearcats finished as the top team in the PacWest with a record of 16-8.

The loss marks a heartbreaking end to the season for the Mariners. Dillion Collett was named VIU’s player of the match in the quarter final loss. After the game, both Collett and Zach Grigg were named PacWest second team all stars. The provincial championship was won by Douglas College; the Mariners provided them with their closest game in the tournament.

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