The first PACWEST volleyball team to open the CCAA Nationals on Thursday will be the VIU Mariners (18-6) in Grande Prairie. They will face the RSEQ champion Andre-Laurendeau Boomerang (10-8) at 2:00pm PST.
The Mariners have medaled in five of the last seven CCAA women’s nationals including a bronze last season. They are coming off a loss in the PACWEST championship match, falling to the Douglas Royals in three straight. They have a balanced offence with weapons at each position led by power hitter and All-Canadian Mikayla Wagner who tallied 216 kills during the regular season and 27 kills during the PACWEST championship tournament.
Last season the Mariners faced a pair of teams from the RSEQ and swept them both 3-0 including Edouard-Montpetit in the bronze medal match. As a matter of fact they have won their last three meetings against a team from Quebec.
This year they face the Boomerang who captured their Conference title on their home floor with a four set victory over Garneau. Their 10 wins in the regular season put them into a three-way tie for second heading into the RSEQ Championship tournament.
They will give the Mariners all they can handle with a balanced offence. Libero Kelsey Hutt of the Mariners could play a major role in their backcourt as the CCAA’s digs per set leader, getting to 4.2 digs a match.