CJ Pentland, CapU Sport Information Director
With a 3-1 win over the CCAA #9 ranked Camosun Chargers, the Capilano University Blues women's volleyball has claimed the bronze medal at the PACWEST Championships for the fourth time in five seasons.
The #5 seeded Blues battled back and won the first two sets 25-22 before the #3 Chargers responded to win 25-19 in the third. The Blues kept their composure and came from behind in the fourth set, and after the Blues had match point the two teams were tied at 24. The Blues then had a couple of outstanding defensive plays and finally scored a 27-25 victory to claim bronze.
"I think what it boiled down to was that we had a little more grit and a little more rest," said head coach Dan Huzar, who wins a medal in his first season with the Blues. "[Camosun] had some tough battles over the year, and our girls were rested; we made sure to maintain our bodies, and that really helped us.
"We lost the third, but we were ok with it; they were pushing through and they had a lot of confidence in themselves. We've been using the word 'belief' all weekend and believing in themselves all the way through, and that's what they needed."
Second-year outside hitter Isabela Lima was named Player of the Match for CapU, as she had 15 kills, including the match winner. She also tallied 11 digs and had a pair of blocks. Meghan Koven was also solid with 11 kills and nine digs, and Anika Kolybaba had a big impact at the net with seven blocks. Koven was later named to the Tournament All-Star Team.
"Last year we lost in the bronze medal match, and I think that our team was very greedy this year," said Lima. "We had a long season, and I think that no one believed that we could do it, and we actually did it. It means a lot to me and the entire team.
"[Camosun] is an amazing team, and we knew that [extra points] was going to happen, but we just kept it together in the huddle and said believe, stay calm, trust each other, and on every point try and be present because this would be the last time we'd play together with all these girls. So we just kept reminding ourselves that, and to live every moment and go hard for every ball."
The Chargers offensively were balanced with three players reaching double-digits in kills. Mika Yamada had a team high 14 and was named the Player of the Match, and Megan Ireland and Maddison Yule each had 12 in a losing cause.
CapU was 3-13 in late January, but won five of their last eight regular season games and then defeated the CCAA #13 ranked University of the Fraser Valley Cascades in the quarterfinals. They dropped a 3-0 decision to #1 Vancouver Island University in Friday's semifinal, but rebounded on Saturday to defeat a Chargers team they were 0-4 against in the regular season. The bronze medal in the 10th in program history, and it marks the fifth time in six seasons that the Blues have medalled at the PACWEST Championships.
With files from the PACWEST