CJ Pentland, Capilano University / Photos courtesy Northfield Photography
As the #6 seed at the PACWEST Provincial Championships at Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo, the young Capilano men’s volleyball team had their hands full with the #3 seed and two-time defending champion Camosun Chargers, and it was the veteran Chargers who won a 3-0 decision and brought an end to the Blues’ season.
Camosun flew out of the gate, forcing Capilano into an early timeout at 11-7, but the veteran Chargers continued to make plays all over the court. A Blues team that often features four or five rookies on the court at one time was forced into mistakes by Camosun side that has several talented fourth and fifth years, and the Chargers took the first set 25-13.
The Chargers continued to be a step ahead in the second frame, recording several blocks and athletic saves on defence to stall any Capilano attacks and win the set 25-16.
Yet with their season on the line, Capilano refused to quit. The Blues kept pace with the Chargers throughout the set, and when Camosun pulled ahead late to bring up set point at 24-21, TheAnh Pham went on a strong service run to help Cap pull even. The two sides then continued to trade points, but at 28-27, the official called a double-hit violation, giving Camosun the point and the win.
The loss brings an end to a promising season where the young Blues team built a foundation for the future under second-year head coach Emmanuel Denguessi, while also posting a 10-14 record that included a win over #1 Vancouver Island University. Justin Yee was named PACWEST Rookie of the Year, and both he and libero Jonathan Lee were named to the conference All-Rookie Team. Setter and team captain Simon Friesen, who was an All-Rookie Team member last season, took his game to another level and was a First Team All-Star.