The PACWEST Provincial Championships may still be over a month away, but there’s a good chance the College of the Rockies men’s volleyball team won’t be involved, unless they win this weekend.
Facing the visiting Columbia Bible College Bearcats at home, the Avs are carrying a 4-10 record, and are in the sixth and final playoff spot. CBC has a 2-14 record and is in last place in the conference.
A pair of losses for COTR would have them tied at the bottom and not in a comfortable position. Entering the back-to-back weekend games on Friday and Saturday, the stakes couldn’t be much higher.
“A playoff spot is pretty much on the line,” said head coach Cisco Farrero. “[CBC] feel like this is their chance to catch us, for sure. So, we’re going to have to play our best games because we’re going to face a team that’s pretty desperate.”
Despite their better record, the Avs have actually only won two games this season, as well. An additional two victories came as the result of forfeit from the Camosun Chargers after they unintentionally started an ineligible player during the opening weekend.
One of COTR’s two wins came on the road against CBC in mid-November, their last victory prior to embarking on a five-game losing streak.
After dropping their first two matches of 2018 to the Capilano University Blues last weekend, the team is still searching for their first non-forfeit win in front of their home crowd.
Saturday’s five-set thriller against Capilano in which they only lost 15-11, due in large part to service errors, gives plenty of reason for optimism.
“It’s going to take a lot out of us because we have to get these victories against CBC to stay ahead of them and to potentially push up in the standings,” Farrero said. “[Last weekend], our offence was really sporadic — consistency wins, and inconsistency loses.”
Leading the team offensively last weekend was sophomore power hitter Matt Cespedes, who put up 21 kills in eight sets, and fourth-year outside hitter Zach James, who had 15 kills to go with nine digs.
Libero Blake Thomson, however, has thus far been the team’s MVP with 106 digs this year.
CBC is entering the night on a six-match losing streak, including a three-set whomping by Vancouver Island University in their most recent action last Saturday.
The Avs’ and Bearcats’ weekend kicks off around 8:00 p.m. on Friday night, following the women’s teams’ game at 6:00 p.m. All the weekend matches will be played at the College of the Rockies’ gymnasium.