The Camosun Chargers, the country’s defending men’s college volleyball champs, needed four sets to beat the Providence Pilots in the opening game of the 2023 Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) men’s volleyball championship at Humber College.
The Chargers, from Victoria, B.C., were crowned the CCAA volleyball champions a year ago, and now they look to defend their title. But that first set which they lost 25-22 seems to have forced them to press the reset button.
Camosun then took the next three sets: 25-18, 25-19 and 25-22.
Kieran Robinson-Dunning said in between sets the coaches reminded them who they were.
“We know that we’re a strong team and we just weren’t playing like it,” he said. “So our coaches sort of reminded us of what we’re capable of and we sort of dialled in from there.”
For the Pilots, this is their CCAA debut so playing against the top-seeded team in the country, they knew they had a challenge ahead of them.
The first set was proof that they were able to make the match difficult for the Chargers.
Pilots head coach Cody Quiring said the team made their mark.
“I think we surprised a lot of people and we turned a lot of heads today so hard to be disappointed with that, even though it was a loss but I think it’s exciting to see where we can go from there,” he said.
The Pilots and the Manitoba Colleges Athletic Conference (MCAC) only gained access to CCAA National Championships last year because of a two-year probationary period.
Left-side hitter Colby Dyck said there are things to take away from the match despite the loss.
“It was a great first-time experience,” he said. “Not really being able to play against this competition all the time back in MCAC so it’s really awesome to see what we can do going up against these guys, and I think we really proved ourselves.”
The Camosun Chargers will continue their quest for a back-to-back championship tonight at 5:30 p.m. against the Fanshawe Falcons.
Robinson-Dunning said the team needs to take lessons from the regular season and apply them to do well the rest of the way.
“We saw ourselves behind in games and we were able to battle back. So as long as we just just remember what we did there and remember the good teams that we played in our league, we can keep up with anyone here,” he said.