Kai Lawrence

Kai Lawrence

PacWest weekend wrap: Bearcats upset No. 2-ranked Mariners

The Columbia Bible College men's volleyball team scored a momentum-boosting upset win on Saturday.

The Columbia Bible College men’s volleyball team scored a momentum-boosting upset win on Saturday, knocking off the Vancouver Island University Mariners, the No. 2-ranked team in the nation.

The Mariners had crushed the host Bearcats in three sets on Friday evening at Columbia Place – an effort that head coach Rocky Olfert alternately referred to as “a collapse” and “a debacle.”

But the CBC men – the defending national champions – bounced back with an impressive four-set win the following afternoon. Will Quiring and Matt Kaminski led the charge with 13 and 12 kills, respectively, and Danny Grant notched seven kills and six blocks as the No. 11-ranked Bearcats improved to 14-8. They’re third in the PacWest conference standings, while VIU (18-4) still holds down first.

Olfert said the win signaled growth in his team’s mental toughness.

“After the game on Friday, the guys gathered themselves on their own for a bit of a gut-check time,” he said. “Then they came out on Saturday and responded really well.

“We knew going in that it would be a good measuring stick for us, so the win is a good confidence-booster. But we’ve still got a ways to go yet.”

CBC WOMEN PUSH MARINERS TO LIMIT

The Bearcats women’s volleyballers also served notice they’ll be a team to be reckoned with down the stretch of the season.

The Mariners came in ranked No. 1 in the nation, but CBC played them tough both nights – they pushed them to five sets on Friday, falling 15-12 in the final set, and won the first set Saturday before eventually falling in four. The fast-improving Bearcats (11-10) are in fourth place.

CASCADES SPIKE CHARGERS IN FIVE

Elsewhere in the PacWest, the University of the Fraser Valley women’s volleyball squad was pushed to the limit in a pair of weekend wins over the Camosun Chargers in Victoria.

The fifth-place Chargers took the Cascades to five sets on both Saturday and Sunday, but the nation’s No. 4-ranked team escaped with the victory both nights to improve to 18-4.

UFV MEN FALL TO CAMOSUN

The UFV men’s volleyballers suffered a sweep at the hands of the Chargers, falling in four sets Saturday and in straight sets Sunday. The Cascades, at 7-15, are clinging to the sixth and final PacWest playoff berth.

CROSSTOWN RIVALS CLASH THIS WEEK

Abbotsford’s two college volleyball programs lock horns this week at Columbia Place, as the Bearcats host the Cascades on Thursday and Friday. The women play at 6 p.m. both nights, followed by the men at 7:45 p.m.

BEARCAT HOOPSTERS FALL ON ROAD

In PacWest basketball action, the CBC squads dropped four games on the road. The Bearcats men (1-13) fell 109-80 to the previously winless Quest Kermodes in Squamish on Friday, and lost 82-72 to the Capilano Blues in North Vancouver on Saturday. The CBC women (0-15) lost 79-34 to Quest and 95-28 to Capilano.

The Bearcats hoopsters wrap up the season on Saturday with road games against the Douglas Royals.