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Chargers volleyball teams get set for Royals rumble

Media Release
Release date: November 4, 2015

After collecting three of four wins against the CBC Bearcats in Abbotsford over the Halloween weekend, the Camosun Chargers volleyball teams play host to the Douglas College Royals this Friday and Saturday at PISE. Regarded as two of the toughest programs in the nation, the battle between the Camosun and Douglas men and women promises to be an epic one!

In women’s action, the Chargers returned from the road with a split, having fallen to CBC 3-2 on Friday (31-29. 18-25, 25-21, 25-27. 15-8) before regrouping for a 3-1 win on Saturday (24-26, 25-16, 25-23, 25-19). The squad is now 3-1 and ranked No. 3 nationally.

“We were far from ourselves on Friday,” comments Chargers Women’s Volleyball Head Coach Chris Dahl. “Our program operates at a much higher level than what was on display and somehow we still had an opportunity to take the match in the fifth set. On Saturday we were marginally better and we won. Clearly we can't measure success in wins and losses. Our athletes know this and I'm impressed with their ability to take both results in stride. They know that they're in the business of preparing for a championship and that it's a process. We've got a great crew and they're setting themselves up well for success.”

Third-year outside hitter Michelle Zygmunt (Abbotsford) had an outstanding weekend scoring 25 points (22 kills, 3 aces) and 7 digs on Friday and a solid 16 points (12 kills, 1 block, 3 aces) and 7 digs on Saturday.

“Michelle has an arm that makes the game exciting to be a part of,” says Coach Dahl. “In addition to her ability to put points on the board, she’s a key contributor to our training environment and a tremendous addition to our culture here at Camosun.”

The Chargers men swept their weekend capturing Friday’s match in straights sets (25-13, 25-14, 25-20) and taking the Bearcats in four on Saturday (22-25, 25-7, 25-8, 25-21).

Savana Walkingbear, PACWEST Men’s Volleyball Athlete of the Week

“We were happy to come out of the weekend against CBC with a sweep,” states Chargers Men’s Volleyball Head Coach Charles Parkinson. “The Bearcats are not as strong or as deep as they have been in the past few years, but they are by no means a bad team. It is easy to get complacent when you know you are better than your opponent and that's when teams get themselves into trouble. Fortunately, we were very focused on Friday night from start to finish and our aggressive serving restricted CBC's offensive options. This allowed us to run our transition game and I was pleased with the efficiency that we showed, cruising to a 3-0 win. It was clear that the Bearcats studied the game tape overnight because they came out with much more determination and a solid game plan on Saturday. Losing the first set was a wake up call for us and I was proud of the way we responded, with 25-7 and 25-8 wins in the next two sets. Set four was more of a battle as both teams settled in but our serving, led by Savana Walkingbear and Tyler Remenda continued to handcuff the CBC passers and allowed us to take the match in four sets. They will continue to improve through the season and I expect them to be a tougher test next semester. For now, though, we will enjoy the win and the 4 and 0 start to this season.”

Camosun newcomer Savana Walkingbear (Turtleford, SK) had a break-out weekend with the Chargers, earning PACWEST Men’s Volleyball Athlete of the Week for his strong performance. The 6’3” leftside scored five ace serves over the two match sweep against CBC and notched six digs, four blocks and 20 kills for a total of almost 30 points in the six sets that he played. Notably, the Chargers scored 14 points when Savana was at the service line as his power kept the Bearcats on their heels.

“It’s easy to see why Savana was a CCAA All-Canadian last season,” says Coach Parkinson. “He holds many scoring records from his previous team at Lakeland College and his athleticism and continuing productivity is a primary reason why Camosun is off to a great start this season.”

This weekend, the Chargers prepare for an exciting weekend at home against PACWEST adversaries, the Douglas College Royals.

“Douglas is building off of experience and gains made last season and has positioned themselves near the top of the PACWEST standings at this early juncture in the season,” says Women’s Head Coach Chris Dahl. “They have a combination of size and ability that will challenge us and they're utilizing a different system that takes advantage of these aspects of the game and clearly it's working for them thus far. We'll have to be sharp. We have an incredible collection of talent on the roster, talent that on many nights will exceed that of our opposition, but the game is more demanding than that... and we're still working through a great many things.”

The men’s match-up will also be a tight one according to Coach Parkinson.

“Douglas College has been one of the toughest teams in the league over the past 5 years and this year is no exception. They are solid in the middle with veterans Mustafa Haq and Scott Devlin always a presence with their big blocking. They are smoothly set by former Provincial team athlete Caleb Konrad and Matt Santema continues to be their workhorse on the right side. It will be essential for us to limit his productivity this weekend.”

“Success for the Chargers will also come down to serving and passing. If we can continue to put difficult serves over the net which consistently takes away one of the Royals' options, it will allow our block-defense to go to work. We are a very athletic team which means we are dangerous in transition, but we have to work hard to create the opportunities to counter-attack first. Our side-out game must also be exceptional this weekend because Douglas has several hard spin servers. We'll need to absorb the force of those serves and give our setters a chance to run our offense. If we can do that we will isolate their middles and create one on one opportunities from the wings and in the pipe. I like our chances in those situations. It should be as great match between two evenly matched teams and I wouldn't surprised if it comes down to a dig here or a block there that determines the outcome.”

Catch the Chargers this weekend at PISE as they take on the Douglas College Royals:

Friday November 6 Women: 6pm Men: 8pm
Saturday November 7 Women: 1pm Men: 3pm

Can't make it to the game? Watch it live on PACWEST.TV

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