Brent Mutis, Sports Information & Compliance Officer
CAP U CENTRE FOR SPORT AND WELLNESS - In their home opener to the 2019-20 PACWEST season, Capilano University's women's volleyball team showed resilience in rallying from two sets down but ultimately were bested by the visiting Douglas College Royals.
(Sets scores were 22-25, 19-25, 25-21 and 21-25.)
The Blues were at times successful in their attacks from the outside but overall, the Royals long arms and presence at the net was difficult to penetrate.
"They've got a big block," said Blues fifth-year captain Meghan Koven of the Royals defence. "We didn't do a lot of it tonight but I think tomorrow we're going to utilize their block a little bit more and try and swing off of it."
Head coach Rob Gowe sensed some nervousness from his players for the home opener with a boisterous crowd on hand.
"I think there were some nerves there which is normal but they kept fighting and they just showed a lot of character and togetherness was really what's important," said the first year bench boss.
It's a quick turnaround in this weekend home-and-home set as the Blues travel to Dougals Saturday for a rematch. Having seen the Royals in action now, adjustments will be key if the Blues want to earn a split.
"I think we're going to have to actually be more aggressive and hit a little higher, be a little smarter," said Gowe. "We were hitting just over the tape and into their hands and we now know that they can block those balls so I think if we hit deep but stay aggressive I think we'll find a way to score some points."
Koven has some ideas as well.
"We could try and swing line a little bit more; there was a lot of continuous balls cross court, a lot of tipping in spots where they were playing defence and I think tomorrow we could just use their open spots a little bit more and use their block to our advantage."
Positives to build on include a strong debut for a rookie and some veteran leadership from the team's setter.
"Olivia Humeston, she had a great match. She was a leading point scorer," noted Gowe. "And Kelsey (Towers) is a fighter; Kelsey is one of those kids who (thinks) 'OK, I'm going to find a way and score points' which I think is a valuable thing to have in a setter, that feistiness."
Despite the setback, Koven was encouraged the team showed character in not rolling over and going away quietly after falling behind two sets.
"I think it shows a lot personality in our team, the fact that we came back in the third set with a lot of energy," said the Arts and Sciences student. "Obviously it would have been nice to come out with a little bit more energy and aggression in the first two sets but it showed good character and hopefully throughout the season we can do that a little quicker."
The Blues take on the Royals Saturday in a 6 p.m. start at Douglas College. The next home game is Friday Oct. 15, a 6 p.m. start against Vancouver Island University.