Cascades women’s volleyballers upset No. 6-ranked Royals

The University of the Fraser Valley women’s volleyball team picked up a highly impressive result on the road, knocking off the Douglas Royals in four sets on Saturday in New Westminster.

Rachel Funk had an outstanding all-around effort for the Cascades on Saturday. (Tree Frog Imaging file photo)

The Royals, ranked No. 6 in the nation, had defeated the Cascades in all three prior meetings this season, including a five-set thriller on Friday. But UFV bounced back to win in relatively decisive fashion: 25-12, 25-18, 21-25, 25-19.

The Cascades improved to 5-9, tied for fifth in the PACWEST, while the Royals (10-4) fell one game back of Vancouver Island University in the race for first place.

“I think the girls took another close loss (on Friday) to heart, but they also knew they were close,” UFV bench boss Mike Gilray said. “We had opportunities to win last night, and they recognized what we lacking. They decided to sit down together as a group and figure out what it was going to take to be better.

“All in all, the girls made a commitment to be better, and they were each one or two per cent better in different parts of their game.”

Left side Rachel Funk had a very strong all-around performance for the Cascades – she hit 37 per cent en route to 16 kills, and posted a 2.33 pass rating with 13 digs. She also notched an ace, and did not make a service error all night. Cassidy Pearson excelled on the right side, registering nine kills, eight digs and four aces.

“It was definitely more consistent tonight,” Gilray summarized. “We had a bit of a lapse in the third, but it was a strong performance.”

The Cascades volleyball teams are back in action next weekend with a home-and-home series against the Capilano Blues. The two teams clash at the Envision Athletic Centre on Friday, and at Capilano’s North Vancouver campus on Saturday. The women play at 6 p.m. and the men at 8 p.m. both nights.

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The University of the Fraser Valley is situated on the unceded traditional territory of the Stó:lō peoples. The Stó:lō have an intrinsic relationship with what they refer to as S’olh Temexw (Our Sacred Land); therefore, we express our gratitude and respect for the honour of living and working in this territory.

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