The Royals split their series with the Camosun Chargers to open the 2019 season, looking strong in all nine sets played over the weekend despite the opening loss.
Douglas looked strong in the first Royals game of 2019 but couldn't quite close the deal in the fifth set. After a dominant 25-16 first-set win where the Chargers never really got going, Camosun and Douglas were neck and neck in the second set before the Chargers pulled away to tie it up with a 25-22 win. The Royals were in the set until the end, never falling behind by more than 2 points up until the set-winning kill. The Royals led at 19-17 before two unlucky errors erased the lead, and again at 20-19, but unfortunately couldn't quite find consecutive points to stake a claim to the second set.
The third set was almost a carbon copy of the first, as Douglas looked by far the better side and came away with a 25-15 win to put them a set away from winning the match. Douglas hit the ball hard, ensuring that the Chargers had no hope of getting their attacks set up well, and forced attack error after attack error from the visitors. But in the fourth set, Camosun again had an answer, coming out guns blazing and holding the Royals to just 12 points to force a final deciding set. At the technical switch of the fifth set the Chargers were doubling up the Royals 8-4. Douglas mounted a comeback, but ultimately fell 15-11 to Camosun, losing the game 3-2.
In the rematch the following afternoon, it became apparent that holiday rust had played at least some part in the loss, as the Royals were fantastic on Saturday. The opening set went to extra points, as the Royals narrowly lost 24-26. This set was the closest of the weekend, as both sides traded points up to 8-8 before the Chargers were able to tack on four consecutive points. The Chargers had a five-point lead at 23-18 that was erased as Emma Schill and Olivia Cesaretti scored on three consecutive kills to tie the set at 24, but the Chargers scored twice in extra points to take the opening set. The Royals set the tone for the second set with six straight points as part of a 7-2 run to open the set. Camosun batled back to tie at 14 before the floodgates opened. Douglas scored 5 straight, conceded a single point on a service error, and scored six more consecutive points to run away with the second set 25-15. The third set was closer, but an early four-point swing that extended the Royals' lead to six proved insurmountable for the Chargers, who dropped consecutive sets for the first time all weekend. In the fourth set, the game changed entirely to one of momentum. Camosun won four straight points to open the set, answered by a 10-1 run from the Royals. Camosun battled back with a 5-1 run, but the Royals took control of the game once again, opening a six-point lead at 20-14. Both sides traded points until the Royals were one point away from victory at 24-19, when the Chargers scored four straight, almost completing the improbable comeback before a service error ended the Chargers' hopes of sweeping the weekend.
The Royals remain in second place, four wins behind the undefeated VIU Mariners. They will face the College of the Rockies Avalanche this weekend in Cranbrook.