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PACWEST Spike Night: Royals @ Mariners

Photo courtesy of Northfield Photography
Photo courtesy of Northfield Photography

It’s a battle for the best in the PACWEST this weekend when the Douglas Royals (17-3) visit the VIU Mariners (16-4) on PACWEST Spike Night.

The Royals are the hottest team in the Conference with seven straight victories, losing just once since the calendar turned to 2018. Their offence has been clicking with an average of 11.5 kills a set and a .257 hitting percentage. They are led by Caet McCorkell who has tallied 252 kills and 300 total offensive points this season in 75 sets played. Vania Oliveira and Vicki Schley have also been solid averaging over two kills a set.

The Royals are an impressive 9-1 on the road. The loss they suffered was during the first weekend of the season at Capilano.

The last time the Royals and Mariners met was November 17-18 at Douglas where the teams split including a fifth set thriller.

“I’m really excited for this weekend and I know the team is as well,” says Royals head coach Jeff Ross. “VIU is a well-coached, strong and athletic team and it will be a great test for us to see where we sit two weeks before provincials. It also gives us another great opportunity to fine tune our side of the court.”

The Mariners have also been very hot lately winning six of their last seven and are a solid 7-1 at home. Their offence is averaging 11 kills per set and have a .263 hitting percentage. Mikayla Wagner and Andrea Cankovic have led the way with 219 and 205 total offensive points respectively.

Along with their offence their defence has been just as effective. Kelsey Hutt is averaging four digs every set and Amanda Dobbyn and Taylor Wickson have plugged up the net with a combined 76 blocks.

Head coach Shane Hyde says this weekend is a massive test for his club, “Well, It is the battle of 1st and 2nd in the PACWEST. We have stunk on Friday nights. We have had poor energy and excitement. If we can’t get up for this match I am not sure what is wrong with us! Douglas is a great team, with very balanced offence. They have great setting and are well coached. For us it’s time to be consistent and show our ability from the opening whistle till the end. We have showed weakness in our performances and I think it is time for us to rise to the challenge and start playing to our potential. This weekend will be the ultimate test and I am certain we will show up. I hope that both teams bring their best performances Friday and Saturday and our home crowd can see what high level volleyball is all about. There is no question Douglas will show up and be ready to play and so will we! It should be a lot of fun!”

The Royals and Mariners square off on Friday at 6:00pm and on Saturday at 1:00pm.