Story by Brad McLeod (Cranbrook Daily Townsman)
On the men's side, the Avs were in an even tougher situation as the Camosun side they started off playing against have been the PACWEST provincial champions for the last two seasons.
The men were fairly competitive in their opening match, losing in four sets and managing to keep themselves alive with a 25-22 victory after going down by two.
"[In that set] we had a high kill percentage, had very few unforced errors and definitely played at a level that we will become accustomed to in the future," said coach Herb Tepper. "The biggest thing [right now] that is hurting us is unforced errors and I know that will change as we move forward through the season."
The Avs lost the second match against Camosun and the next two against VIU in straight sets, but even in their defeats, they fought hard to the end. In the closing sets against VIU, the Avs put up over 20 points both nights, falling 25-22 and 25-21.
"They certainly battled, [on Saturday], we were down 20-15 and came back to make it a match," Tepper said. "That was our goal, to try to get at least to 20 [points] — to compete you have to be over 20 — we didn't achieve it in a few sets but it was good to see in those final sets that they didn't want to give up."
Tepper said that overall he was happy to see the team get better and believes that winning results will come as a result of these learning experiences.
"We improved as the weekend went on — we had really good moments — we're just, unfortunately, a little bit up-and-down," he said. "Quite honestly, [Camosun and VIU] are just simply better than us at this stage in the season.
"We still hung in there most of the time — that was positive. Obviously, we didn't get the results we wanted but [we] are improving."
Sophomore outside hitter Patrik Toze led the team offensively with 31 kills, while also picking up 19 digs, three blocks, and two aces.
Both Avs teams now have some time off before their home openers against Douglas College on Friday, October 28. The teams will take advantage of the downtime by getting some practice in on their newly renovated home court. Both the Douglas College men's and women's teams are currently sitting atop the league after two games, both going 2-0 in their opening matches.