On February 28, the VIU Mariners’ women’s volleyball team staged a dramatic comeback to defeat the Camosun Chargers and capture the PacWest Provincial Championship on the Chargers’ home court in Victoria. The Mariners rallied back after losing the first two sets to stun the Chargers in a dramatic five-set thriller.
At the National Championship in Longueuil, Quebec, the Chargers managed to exact a form of revenge, as the Chargers were able to hold off the Mariners in the semi-finals to advance to the bronze medal game.
The match between the two rivals was extremely close to being an exact repeat of the PacWest final. The Chargers jumped out to an early lead, winning the first two sets of the match 25-23 and 25-19, but the Mariners battled back into the match, capturing the next two sets by identical 25-22 scores to send the match to a fifth and deciding set. But this time, Camosun managed to fight off the VIU comeback. The Chargers captured the fifth set 15-10, winning the match 3-2. Megan Roselund was named Player of the Game for VIU. Roselund recorded one ace, 16 kills, and 17 digs in the match for the Mariners. The loss to the Chargers eliminated the Mariners from the tournament. VIU finished the tournament with a record of 1-2.
The Mariners, who entered the tournament as the second ranked team in the country, started the tournament on a strong note. VIU picked up a 3-0 victory over the Mount St. Vincent University Mystics in the team’s first match of the tournament. Claire Mcloughlin was named Player of the Game for VIU in the victory. Mcloughlin finished the game with five kills, three digs, and one ace.
After the victory over MSVU, the Mariners had a chance to advance to the gold medal semi-finals with a victory over Elans de Garneau. The Mariners started the match strong, winning the match’s first set 25-17. But Garneau took over the match after the first set, picking up victories in three consecutive sets (25-16, 25-19, 25-21) to pick up the win over the Mariners.
The Mariners may have come home from the Nationals empty handed, but the team has a lot to be proud of after such a successful season. After starting the season 1-5, the team caught fire and finished the regular season with a record of 16-8 to finish in third place in the standings. The Mariners then continued their hot play in the Provincials as they defeated Camosun to capture the gold medal and return to Nationals for the second straight season. The gold medal extended VIU’s streak of consecutive seasons with a PacWest medal to 21. The last time VIU failed to capture a medal was 1994.
A Mariners player also received some personal recognition before the Nationals—Tylar Turnbull was named an All-Canadian.