The University of the Fraser Valley men’s volleyball team grew stronger as the match wore on, ultimately dispatching the Douglas Royals in three straight sets on Saturday evening in New Westminster.
The Cascades, No. 14 in the CCAA national rankings, were coming off a four-set triumph over the Royals on Friday. After grinding out a 25-22 first-set win to open the rematch, they found their form over the last two sets, closing out the match 25-19 and 25-14.
UFV (8-6) is on a roll, having won six of its last seven games with the lone loss coming at the hands of the nation’s No. 4-ranked team, the VIU Mariners. The Royals, meanwhile, fell to 5-9.
“I thought Douglas came out better in the first set, and we did a good job to weather the storm a little bit,” Cascades head coach Kyle Donen analyzed. “So taking that first set felt like it put us in the driver’s seat. In the second set we kind of took control, and then in the third we ran away with it. It was another good team effort top-to-bottom – everyone played well.”
The Cascades truly hit their stride late in the second set – leading 21-19, they reeled off four straight points to go up two sets to none. They tore off a 10-2 run to open the third and essentially drain any suspense from the proceedings, maintaining a lead in the neighbourhood of 10 points the rest of the way.
UFV’s offence was incredibly balanced, as they managed to win decisively despite not having any players in double-digit kills. With setter Adam Frederickson at the controls, Nick Bruce, Ben Friesen and Dayton Pagliericci tied for team-high honours with seven kills apiece, and Matt Whittall had six.
Pagliericci and Frederickson had two blocks each, and Pagliericci and Friesen both notched a pair of aces. Bruce had eight digs and libero Evan Bell-Foley registered seven.
The Cascades volleyball teams are back on the road next weekend, as they head to Victoria for a Friday-Saturday set vs. the Camosun Chargers.