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COTR Avalanche earn top spot in the country


College of the Rockies’ men’s Avalanche volleyball team have ended their first half of the season on a high note. For the first time in Avalanche history, the men’s team has been named the Number 1 team in the country.

“After a strong first half of our season, it is exciting to be ranked number one in the CCAA,” said head coach Cisco Farrero. “As our program has grown, we have raised our standards and expectations of ourselves and our players have shown an incredible commitment to the classroom, weight room and on the court. It is great to see them rewarded for that work.”

The College’s men’s and women’s volleyball teams were first introduced as members of the BC College’s Athletics Association during the 1997/98 year. In the 26 years since, they have achieved many successes, including numerous players being named CCAA National Scholars, many trips to the PACWEST championships, bronze medal wins, and the women’s team earning the title of PACWEST champions and traveling to the National championships in 2016.

The past few seasons, the men’s team has been nationally ranked for several weeks, topping at Number 4 last season and starting this year at Number 3. Neither team has previously earned the top spot in the country.

Over his five seasons with the Avs, team captain and Business student Gustavo Bertoli from Sao Paulo, Brazil has seen the growth in the team.

“To be ranked Number 1 is a testament to the dedication and relentless work ethic we have cultivated over time,” said Bertoli. “As a fifth-year veteran, I’ve witnessed my teammates create an environment where we push each other to be the best versions of ourselves. We are committed to our objectives, and will fight to achieve them, one point at a time, while representing the College with pride and sportsmanship.”

Each of the national champions over the past three years have been from the same conference (PACWEST) as the Avs, demonstrating the level of talent the Avs are competing against. Showing incredible resolve and composure so far this season, the team has fought to win some very close battles on their way to the 9-1 record.

“Our second semester schedule will be challenging as we navigate the same strong opponents and we know we need to continue to improve to reach our goal of a PACWEST conference title,” Farrero said.

“Being Number 1 in the country is a celebration of the values we hold dear,” agreed Bertoli. “The job’s not done yet, though. We have more left to prove.”