Tritons celebrate gold medal six pack


Peter Mallett, Staff Writer — All six CFB Esquimalt Tritons teams now get a shot at becoming Canadian Armed Forces national champions.

The Esquimalt Tritons volleyball players added to Esquimalt’s gold-medal haul for 2023 by capturing Canada West men’s and women’s regional titles in Cold Lake, Alta.

The men’s Volleyball team avenged an earlier 2-1 (best-of-three sets) loss to Cold Lake in round-robin play to score a tight 25-17, 25-23, 27-25 victory. The Esquimalt Tritons men’s team defeated the hosts from 4 Wing 3-0 in their championship on Feb. 13 while on the same day our women’s team beat Edmonton 3-1 to also win their gold medals.

Sailor Third Class (S3) Jacob Thompson, Tritons Men’s Team Manager and a Naval Combat Information Operator (NCIOP) with HMCS Winnipeg, said the hosts kept them on their toes from opening serve and throughout the championship match.

“Having previously lost our only match of the tournament against them in the second game of the round-robin, we had a pretty good understanding of what we were up against in the final,” said S3 Thompson. “Yet, we were able to stay disciplined during long rallies by playing our positions by the book and inched our way closer and closer towards victory.”

The team relied heavily on two players with CISM (Conseil International du Sport Militaire) Military World Games experience. Corporal Kristofer Faucon, Team Captain and setter, captured the championship game Most Valuable Player honours while Sailor First Class Brandon Rivera, outside hitter, was named tournament MVP for his stellar play.

The Tritons women went undefeated over five games in Cold Lake. Kiana Deland, Team’s Coach and a civilian fitness instructor for Personnel Support Programs (PSP), said the team was equally excited with their Canada West crown.

“It’s been years since our women’s volleyball team has won this title, so the players were ecstatic,” Deland said.

Deland said key performers to the victory included Team Captain Lieutenant-Commander (LCdr) Carolyn Pumphrey who helped lead and motivate the Tritons on the court, setter Sailor Third Class Jenamae Ofiaza who won tournament MVP, and Acting-Sub-Lieutenant Norah Collins who was named MVP in the championship match.

LCdr Noelani Shore, the Team Manager, said the timing was right for the Tritons to show their worth.

“As a team, we have put a lot of time into training this season so to see it come together at regionals and win gold felt great,” LCdr Shore said.

Both victories build on a remarkable run for sports teams representing CFB Esquimalt, with the Base already claiming Canada West titles in men’s basketball and men’s, women’s and Old Timers hockey. Both volleyball teams move on to face the best base teams from the rest of Canada at the Canadian Armed Forces Volleyball Championships, Apr. 22-26 at
CFB Borden.

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