Douglas Royals win the PACWEST Men’s Volleyball Championship
The Douglas College Royals claimed the PACWEST Men’s Volleyball Championship on Saturday in front of a raucous crowd of their home fans. The Royals, seeded #2 going into the tournament, defeated the #1 seeded Vancouver Island University (VIU) Mariners 3-1 (25-20, 22-25, 25-19, 31-29). The Royals’ Jeff Taylor (6’6”, Burnaby, BC), with 14 kills in the match, was named Tournament Most Valuable Player. The Royals will compete at the CCAA National Championship on March 8-10 at Columbia Bible College, Abbotsford, BC.
The Royals led 4-1 shortly into the fourth set, but the Mariners fought back to lead 12-10 and force a Royals’ timeout. The Mariners led 17-14 and 20-17, and another Lee Hamilton (6’7”, Regina, SK) kill up the middle made it 23-18 in favour of the Mariners. The Royals responded with three straight points and forced the Mariners to take a timeout in an effort to stop the Royals’ momentum. As the Mariners led 24-22, the Royals’ Kaleb Dawe (6’0”, Whitehorse, BC) and Taylor came up with huge blocks, while Jordan Or (5’10”, Burnaby, BC) continued to keep the Royals alive with digs. The lead changed as VIU led 26-25, before the Royals took a 28-27 lead. With Sam Shaw (6’3”, White Rock, BC) serving for the match and the Royals up 30-29, Mark Vanderwal (6’7”, Abbotsford, BC) kept the play alive before Rex Fenton (6’3”, Ottawa, ON) set up Taylor for the winning point.
Taylor, Dawe, and Andrew Robson (6’5”, Delta, BC) began to control the match and helped stake the Royals to an 8-4 lead in the third set. The setting of Fenton, who finished with 46 assists, helped create opportunities that Taylor and Shaw were finishing. Douglas College led 19-12 and never let the Mariners get back into it, winning the third set 25-19.
The second set was even closer as the teams traded leads. Hamilton continued to fight excellent blocking from the Royals’ Taylor and Vanderwal. The Mariners led 7-5 before the Royals took a commanding 19-14 lead. As the Royals looked to close out the set, the Mariners fought back to cut the deficit to 21-19 and forcing Douglas College to take a timeout. Hamilton tied it up at 21 with a huge kill, and Nigel Proch (6”2’, Kelowna, BC) finished it as the Mariners won 25-22.
The Royals jumped out to slim lead in the first set as both teams traded spikes. The Mariners’ Hamilton was difficult to stop and established his presence in the front row early on. The Royals led 19-13 before the Mariners made a push and Hamilton’s ace cut the lead to 22-19. A Dawe kill closed out the first set 25-20 for the Royals.
The Royals defeated the #3 seeded CBC Bearcats in a semi-final on Friday, winning in straight sets (30-28, 25-17, 25-18). The Mariners earned their trip to the finals by defeating the #5 seeded Camosun Chargers in four sets (25-17, 20-25, 25-14, 25-19). The two finalists split their season series 2-2.
The CBC Bearcats earned the bronze medal with a 3-1 (15-25, 25-22, 25-20, 25-16) win over the Camosun Chargers. In that game, the Bearcats were led by league MVP Will Quiring (6’5”, Saskatoon, SK) with 22 kills. Jason Warkentin (6’4”, Abbotsford, BC) had nine digs and 38 assists. The Chargers were led by Garrett Marcellus (6’5”, Oak Bay, BC) with 12 kills and Alex Sadowski (6’7”, Victoria, BC) with 11 kills. Stephen Richter (6’4”, White Rock, BC) had 10 digs for the Chargers.
Tournament All-Stars: Garrett Marcellus (CAM), Jason Warkentin (CBC), Rex Fenton (DC), Sam Shaw (DC), Lee Hamilton (VIU), Milo Warren (VIU).
Tournament MVP: Jeff Taylor, (DC).