Photo/Story Credit: Cranbrook Townsman - Jessica Dempsey
The College of the Rockies (COTR) women's Avalanche team is looking to get into the win column after having their bye week.
On Nov. 9-10 the Avalanche will take on Columbia Bible College (CBC) Bearcats, as they have home court advantage. CBC is still looking for their first win of the PACWEST season and head coach John Swanson expects them to come out hard.
"I know they have quite a young team as well, so I think it will come down to some of the emotional/mental parts of the game and what teams can kind of cope and those types of things. I know Columbia hasn't won a match yet, but they have been very competitive.
"Sometimes a record doesn't always indicate the level of competition that they are. Obviously, we have one win, so both teams are looking to build on getting some wins."
Going into this game the team has been working on their serve/receiving.
"That's a skill you can always work on regardless of what your record is. It's always such an important aspect of the game. So, we will ramp up coming in this week with some gameplay strategies against CBC and of course, work on our own that we have implemented a couple weeks ago," said Swanson.
Working on the mental and emotional aspect is also going to be vital going into this weekend's match.
"Being such a young team, we try to eliminate some of the highs and lows and be more even-keeled so we don't give up runs of four or five points out of stress. I'll be implementing drills that will incorporate those kinds of strategies and have previously," said Swanson.
This weekend Swanson said will be an important one to get some wins out of.
"It's going to be big," he said. "Every match is obviously very important, but for standing purposes and going forward it will be a big finish to our first semester, hosting CBC than hosting Camosun [College].
"They are going to be very big matches that we are going to have to perform to the best of our ability and if that's good enough that's great. If not, then we have to keep assessing and looking at how we can become better."
To win this weekend, Swanson said serving will be key and eliminating errors.
"I don't mind that we are aggressive, but I think some of the misses we have made and when we made them have been critical. Again, it's eliminating the runs of four and five points … you give up a run of four or five points it's just really difficult, especially later in the set. It's really hard to come back from," he explained.
The Avalanche had some much-needed rest after injuries were starting to pile up.
"Hopeful they will be up and ready to go for the upcoming match against CBC," said Swanson, as he is optimistic for those players who have been healing to be back in the lineup for the weekend.
The bye week came at a time when it will be extremely useful to the players.
"Every team goes through injuries, it happens. You hope they can play through it or those types of things. With our [schedule] on the road we have to be smart because we play four days in a row," said Swanson.
"We have to be a bit smarter of resting certain players and if you do have injuries not to make it worse, particularly on the road."
First serve will be at 6 p.m. on Nov. 9 and on Nov. 10 at 1 p.m. Both matches will be at the COTR gym against CBC.
Currently the Avalanche are 1-7 on the PACWEST season with two points.