Friday night’s PACWEST women’s Spike Night features a pair of teams that have lost just once this season when the Douglas Royals (9-1) host the VIU Mariners (7-1). It’s the first time they have met since last season’s Gold Medal Match in the PACWEST championship tournament.
The Royals are the hottest team in the Conference and are winners of eight straight and are coming off back to back road wins. Caet McCorkell tops the PACWEST leaderboard with 149 total offensive points and has 134 kills along with 12 aces.
When their blocks breakdown Claudia Corneil has played outstanding positional defence collecting a Conference high 151 digs in the 39 sets she’s played.
This will be the first time they play the defending PACWEST champions and head coach Jeff Ross believes this coming weekend won’t be easy, “This weekend is going to be a fun one. It’s going to be a tough match and a great battle to watch. VIU is well coached with skilled athletes and we are looking forward to the battle. We are looking to put together a solid consistent performance this weekend and I feel we are ready.”
The Mariners have won seven of their last eight matches and are playing at a high level but find themselves on the road for the fourth time this season. They are 5-1 away from Nanaimo.
On the offensive side Mikayla Wagner leads her club with 97 offensive points and 83 kills. Danielle Groenendijk has been solid as well with 71 kills while Sadie Wilson has chipped in with 47.
That said it’s the defence of the Mariners that has them at the top of the standings again. Amanda Dobbyn leads the PACWEST with 25 blocks while libero Kelsey Hutt has 127 digs.
“Douglas is a very well coached, athletic team,” says Mariners head coach Shane Hyde. “They have a balanced offense and have one of the best right sides and setters in the PACWEST. We our coming off a weekend where we did not have our full line-up present. We have worked hard all week sharpening up a few key areas and feel that we will be ready for a strong Douglas team. At this level any team can take it. Both teams have so much skill in all areas that this match should be one that goes into extra innings. We are not sure which team deserves #2 or #3 in the country but after this weekend it should be clear. A match of this caliber does not happen often so I am sure both teams are excited to get out there and play at a high level. I just hope both teams bring their A game to the match and Jeff Ross and I as coaches, can sit back and watch some great volleyball take place.”
Fans can watch the PACWEST women’s Spike Night beginning at 6:00pm on Friday, with the men’s match at Douglas following. WATCH HERE