The College of the Rockies Avalanche Women's Volleyball team was the first team in the PACWEST to defeat the Vancouver Island University Mariners, while the Men's team dropped both matches following their weekend homestand.
Facing difficult competition this weekend against the Vancouver Island University (VIU), the Women's team won their Friday match while the Men's Avalanche were swept, winning a single set on Saturday.
The first to take on VIU Friday, the Women's Avalanche downed the Mariners in four sets (25-22, 14-25, 26-24, 25-20) while the Men were swept despite a valiant effort in the third and final set (25-20, 25-20, 28-26).
Entering the weekend, the VIU Women's team was a perfect 6-0 while the VIU Men's team was 4-2.
Being the first team to down the Mariners in PACWEST action this season, the Avalanche had confidence moving into Saturday's finale but would lose in three straight sets (25-15, 25-19, 25-20). The Men's Avalanche would lose in four sets (25-21, 17-25, 25-16, 25-16).
Despite the outcome, the Women's Avalanche were happy to split their weekend against one of the conference's top teams.
"You always kind of hope that you get your last one maybe on that Saturday as well, but I think VIU definitely stepped up their game and that's what road teams usually do," said John Swanson, Head Coach of the College of the Rockies Avalanche Women's Volleyball team. "VIU I thought blocked much better the second day and they earned that win on the Saturday so you know we'll take the split and kind of move forward now for our road trip coming up."
The Women's Avalanche will be without one of their veteran leaders though as Alex Koshman sprained her ankle late in the third set Friday.
"I feel for Alexa because she's been injured now for quite a bit of the season on just kind of fluke things of injuring both her feet at different times, just on volleyball plays," said Swanson. "We definitely missed her on the Saturday for sure and now going into this road trip, unfortunately, she'll miss that trip as well."
Both College of the Rockies Avalanche teams now gear up for a four-match road trip to Abbotsford, hopping on the bus tomorrow ahead of Thursday and Friday's matches with the Columbia Bible College Bearcats and then Saturday and Sunday's matches against the University of Fraser Valley Cascades.
The four-match road trip wraps up the first semester for the Avalanche as the teams will return to the court in mid-January to resume their PACWEST schedule.
- Bradley Jones
Audio: John Swanson, College of the Rockies Avalanche Women's Volleyball Head Coach on first-year players stepping up