Ben Chessor
The Navigator

The Mariners men’s volleyball team showed a lot of guts and determination in their first games of the second semester. The Mariners battled hard all weekend and earned a split in their two games, which allowed them to keep pace with the middle of the pack in the PacWest standings.

On Friday, January 11, the Mariners were in action on home court against the visiting Douglas Royals. The Mariners won the first set of the match, but the Royals bounced back and won the second set. VIU won the third 25-22 to take a 2-1 lead. But the Douglas Royals didn’t quit. They battled back to take the fourth set 25-20 to force a fifth and deciding set. In the fifth set, it was Douglas College that pulled away, winning the fifth set 15-7 and the match by a score of 3-2.

The Mariners got another chance to defeat the Royals the next day as the team squared off again for a rematch. This time, the royals got off to a hot start, winning the first two sets 27-25, 25-18. But the Mariners refused to quit, battling back to take the third and fourth sets 25-21, 25-11. This meant that for the second time in two games, the match was decided in the fifth set. This time, it was the Mariners who emerged victorious, winning the fifth set by a score of 15-12.

With the weekend split, the Mariners’ record sits at 8-8 for the season. The team’s 16 points puts them in a tie for third place with the Camosun Chargers. Douglas College sits two points back with a record of 7-7, but Douglas has played two fewer games than VIU and Camosun.

The Mariners’ Zach Grigg was also named PacWest Men’s Volleyball Player of the Week. Zach had a big weekend against Douglas College, picking up 17 kills, four service aces, and a block in Friday’s games. Grigg followed up his big game Friday with a another huge performance on Saturday, picking up another 17 kills to go along with seven digs and two blocks. Congratulations, Zach!