The University of the Fraser Valley men’s volleyball team settled for a split on opening weekend, dropping a four-set decision at Columbia Bible College on Saturday.
On Friday evening, playing on their home court in front of a loud partisan crowd, the Cascades had dispatched the Bearcats in four sets. But they were unable to sustain that momentum when the scene shifted to Columbia Place on Saturday, as CBC responded with its own four-set triumph (20-25, 25-22, 25-17, 25-22).
“We had a bit of a tough time passing tonight, and their crowd made a difference for them,” UFV head coach Kyle Donen said. “It gave them confidence from the serving line, and we weren’t able to match it with our passing. They played a strong match, and battled back when we had a chance to put them down two sets to nothing.”
Indeed, the second set was the turning point. UFV, already up a set, built a comfortable lead in the second, but CBC battled back with a big service run and ended up winning it. They carried the momentum forward from there, taking the next two sets.
It didn’t help the Cascades’ cause that outside hitter Kurtis Stromdahl departed with a knee injury late in the second set and did not return.
“At the time, he was our most stable passer, and that kind of changed the complexion of the game,” Donen said.
Right side Josh Togeretz paced the Cascades’ offence with 15 kills, and middle Robert Koenig capped a fantastic weekend with eight kills, four service aces and 3.5 blocks.
“He did exactly what we needed him to do this weekend,” Donen said of Koenig, a 6’8” second-year player out of Mennonite Educational Institute. “He was strong last night, and tonight.”
The Cascades volleyball teams are at home next weekend, hosting the College of the Rockies Avalanche on Saturday (women 6 p.m., men 8 p.m.) and Sunday (women 11 a.m., men 1 p.m.).