Story and photo credit: Brad McLeod, Cranbrook Daily Townsman
College of the Rockies Avalanche men's volleyball coach Herb Tepper wasn't in much of a talking mood after Saturday afternoon's loss to the Camosun Chargers.
The 3-1 defeat was the team's fourth straight loss, and without prompting Tepper concisely summarized his feelings.
"We absolutely killed ourselves by serving and today we just didn't compete," he said. "We had a few injured players, but everyone has that."
The Avs had 18 service errors on Friday and 17 on Saturday, but were never down by too many points. Tepper has said in the past that the team's goal is to get to 20 points every set and they achieved that in six of the seven sets that they played over the weekend.
On Friday, COTR started the match with their worst set of the weekend, losing 25-19. While they came close in the second set, only falling 27-25, and the third set, a 25-22 defeat, the Avs sweep was a tough pill to swallow.
The Avs had some positive individual performances in the loss. Outside hitter David Dobson had 10 kills, a pair of ace serves, and four digs in a serviceable outing. Setter Alex Cassels led the team in digs with seven but received an injury that kept him out of Saturday's game.
Without Cassels, the team utilized their bench players more than they typically do on Saturday afternoon.
While the Avs managed to squeak out a 25-19 win in the first set, a pair of 25-20 losses and a final fourth set 25-21 ending gave the Avs their fourth loss of 2017.
There was visible frustration on the faces of the team's star players as they lost points at crucial moments of the match. While the anger was often directed towards the referee, there was a general air of an opportunity lost as they failed once again to take advantage of their home court.
Sophomore outside hitter Patrik Toze had an emotional game that ended early as he fell hard at the end of the fourth set. Toze appeared to be in great pain and had to be helped off the floor with his left leg elevated, moments before Camosun won the match.
Although he was disappointed with the matches, Tepper believes there is not much that can be done to fix their woes now except rest.
"I've got to get my players recovered," he said of upcoming plans for team practices. "There are too many injuries right now. We can't do anything until we get players recovered, so we may take a week off, unfortunately."
The Avs are tied for fifth place in the PACWEST with the Capilano Blues at 6-10.