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

B.C. declares state of emergency as wildfires rage

More than 3,300 firefighters are battling more than 500 fires

Port Hardy Fire Rescue knocks down wildland fire

PHFR members responded to the scene, located the fire, and contained it to the immediate area.

Second annual Port McNeill & District Chamber of Commerce golf tournament

Golf Holes #2 and #6 are Hole-in-One opportunities, each with a cash prize of $25,000!

No taxes paid by Neucel, Doug Bondue Arena in Port Alice closes

“Neucel owes us a million dollars and it’s pretty hard to stay status quo when you’re short a million.”

Dragonboat society requests new location for 80 square foot storage shed in McNeill

“Part of my concern for using lot B is that it could become a parking lot for them…”

Average Canadian family spends 43% of income on taxes: study

Fraser Institute’s consumer report shows taxes accounting for larger chunk of income each year

Thieves steal supplies, tools and juice boxes from B.C. summer camp

‘Take a moment to think about who you stole from,’ says Burns Bog Society’s Mark Robertson

Women-owned businesses generate $68,000 less revenue than men’s: survey

When Dionne Laslo-Baker sought a bank loan to expand her burgeoning organic popsicle and freezies business in 2014, she was “shocked” by the feedback she received from one of the bankers.

Hedley frontman’s alleged sex offences case returns to court

Jacob Hoggard faces three sexual assault-related charges will return to a Toronto courtroom this morning.

Climate change likely to cause more sewage leaks, says environment minister

More than one hundred municipal wastewater systems did not report how much raw sewage overflowed from their pipes in 2017.

Priests molested 1,000 children in Pennsylvania, report says

The “real number” of abused children and abusive priests might be higher since some secret church records were lost and some victims never came forward.

Defiant as Trump rages, Omarosa says she won’t be silenced

Manigault Newman declared she will not be silenced by President Donald Trump, remaining defiant as her public feud with her former boss shifted from a war of words to a possible legal battle.

Death toll hits 39 in Italy bridge collapse; blame begins

The collapse of the Morandi Bridge sent dozens of cars and three trucks plunging as much as 45 metres (150 feet) to the ground Tuesday.

Most Read