Randy Vanderveen/CCAA photo VIU Mariners players Danielle Groenendijk, left, Chantal Cumming, Andrea Cankovic and Kelsey Hutt celebrate a point during a match at the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association championships in Grande Prairie, Alta.

VIU volleyball team wins national championship

Mariners beat Douglas Royals in four sets to take CCAA gold in Grande Prairie, Alta.

In the national final, the VIU Mariners had to get past their toughest rival – they were able to do that and became champions.

Vancouver Island University’s women’s volleyball team won the national championship on Saturday night in Grande Prairie, Alta., defeating the Douglas Royals 25-19, 25-20, 23-25, 25-16 in an all-B.C. matchup to win gold.

The Mariners had lost three out of four matches to the Royals in the regular season and also fell to Douglas in the PacWest provincial championships at the end of February.

“We wanted this,” said Taylor Wickson, player of the match in the final, speaking to Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference TV after the match.

She said her team “passed amazing” and blocked well, which had been a focus going into the final.

“I couldn’t be more proud of the girls,” Wickson said. “We really showed up and I’m really proud of all of them.”

Andrea Cankovic had 14 kills in the final and Mikayla Wagner had 11. Kelsey Hutt had 26 digs, Wickson made 11 blocks and Danielle Groenendijk served four aces.

Shane Hyde said over the course of the tournament, all team members played confidently and played to their potential.

“Really, there wasn’t a team that challenged us too much,” he said. “As the tournament went on, we played pretty error-free.”

The Mariners were dominant the the first two days of the tournament, starting with a 25-16, 25-12, 25-7 whitewash of the Boomerang d’André-Laurendeau in Thursday’s opener and then continuing with another straight-sets victory over the Lakeland Rustlers in the semis, 25-15, 25-15, 25-17.

Following their runner-up finish at provincials, the Mariners had completely switched up their blocking scheme and it was effective. The M’s blocked so well, said Hyde, that it got opposing teams off their game trying to do different things.

“We were so aggressive. Our energy levels were so high and I think we really, truly intimidated the Douglas team,” Hyde said, adding that VIU was the more experienced team, played like it, and that became a factor.

Looking back over the season, coach said he knew his athletes were capable of getting the right results. A national championship shows he was right.

“It was a pretty proud moment for me as a coach,” Hyde said. “This was my fourth national championship, but this was one of the most special ones for me because I really do think that this team was the complete package from the start of the year. And all the ups and downs we’ve had maybe played into the success we had at the end.”

Wagner was chosen tournament MVP and Chantal Cumming and Groenendijk were selected as first-team all-stars.

@viumariners @ccaasportsacsc women’s volleyball champions #ccaawvb2018

A post shared by stephaniewhite11 (@stephaniewhite11) on

Just Posted

Jones ready to test himself on pro golf tour in Spain

Mount Brenton phenom expects to play well against elite competition

Duncan play faces challenges even before first performance as thieves strike

Thefts hamper Deathtrap days before opening at Mercury Theatre

Here’s thinking outside the box about the Malahat

How can we have an alternate route into and out of Victoria?

New owners of Crofton mill see bright future for industry

No layoffs or significant changes planned

‘Police are ready’ for legal pot, say Canadian chiefs

But Canadians won’t see major policing changes as pot becomes legal

Legal pot price must be ‘competitive’ with black market: Blair

Bill Blair shared final words on journey to legalization ahead of official day Wednesday

Mayor of Kamloops says ‘history has been made’ with vote on B.C.’s lone pot shop

The store to be run by the province in B.C.’s Interior is opening Wednesday as pot sales become legal across Canada

New bus route to ‘replace’ Greyhound along Trans-Canada Highway

Rider Express Transportation says they will soon begin a bus service from Winnipeg to Vancouver

U.S. pot firm urges Trump to deny Canadian producers ‘competitive advantage’

The challenge for U.S. firms lies in the fact that while recreational cannabis is legal in nine states and medicinal pot in 22 others, it remains illegal under federal law

Government says imprisoned Canadian terror suspects must face consequences

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale showed little sympathy Tuesday for such individuals who now want to return to Canada

How rules for inmate segregation in Canada will change under Bill C-83

Federal government proposing changes to rules around inmates in federal correctional institutions

Canada Post union issues strike notice; rotating strikes could begin Monday

Union says rotating strikes will begin if agreements aren’t reached with bargaining units

Carole James avoids questions on B.C.’s payroll tax (with video)

Green MLA Adam Olsen cites huge tax increase for local business

2 charged for feeding B.C. bear Tim Horton’s timbits

Court documents show that Randy Scott and Megan Hiltz have both been charged with feeding or attempting to feed dangerous wildlife.

Most Read