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

Victoria invited to get a closer look at Sunday’s lunar eclipse

Special event allows public to view the moon through UVic telescopes

25 drivers in Victoria pulled for drug impairment since cannabis legalized

Little change seen in number of impaired drivers since new laws enacted

Victoria Whisky Festival kicks off this weekend

Whisky-lovers flock to Hotel Grand Pacific for weekend events and tastings

Vancouver Island couple fights for their lives together

Richard Stuart needs a kidney, his wife Tracy has been diagnosed with cancer

Overworked and understaffed: More than 300 vacancies in Vancouver Island nursing

Tentative deal with province includes ‘working short premium’ to encourage hiring

Fashion Fridays: Inspirational gym outfits

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

BC Hydro scammers bilked customers out of nearly $45,000 in 2018

Nearly 2,000 people reported scams to the utility, as they continue to be more common

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 15

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Should people have to license their cats?

The Victoria Natural History Society has sent letters to 13 municipalities in… Continue reading

Olympian snowboarder Max Parrot diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Each year in Canada, approximately 900 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

‘Prince of Pot’ Marc Emery accused of sexual assault, harassment

Emery denied the allegations, but a Toronto woman says she is not the only one speaking out

Vancouver Island photographer makes National Geographic’s 2018 elite

Rare double honour for Marston from the 36 best Your Shots out of nearly 19,000 photos

Ex-Liberal candidate in Burnaby, B.C., says volunteer wrote controversial post

Karen Wang dropped out following online post singling out NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh’s ethnicity

Asteroids are smacking Earth twice as often as before

The team counted 29 craters that were no older than 290 million years

Most Read