Donen victorious in coaching debut as Cascades beat ‘Cats in four sets

The University of the Fraser Valley men’s volleyball team made a winner of Kyle Donen in his head coaching debut on Friday evening.

In their first game of the PacWest regular season, the Cascades knocked off the Columbia Bible College Bearcats in four sets (25-14, 23-25, 25-14, 25-17).

_97P9982The crosstown rivalry game was contested before a high-decibel audience at the Envision Athletic Centre, and Donen said his group fed off the crowd’s enthusiasm.

“We came out with energy, and I think the crowd really helped us from the get-go,” he said. “We kind of let it get away from us a little bit in that second set, but we found a way to rebound when we needed to. The guys really battled tonight, and kudos to them.”

Robert Koenig, the Cascades’ towering 6’8” middle whose tough serving and defence drew post-game praise from Donen, said that the UFV squad found a comfort zone mentally.

“Our team plays a lot better when we have fun,” he said. “When we’re serious, we may as well just go home because we can’t pass worth anything. But it was relaxed, it was fun.”

It’ll be a different atmosphere on Saturday, when the home-and-home series moves across town to CBC. The women’s teams play at 6 p.m., followed by the men at 8 p.m.

“We might need to bring a little more (energy) because we’re in their gym, and sometimes you’ve got to create extra energy to get your morale up,” Donen said. “We won’t have as many fans cheering for us, so we’ll have to find a way to get that energy going early on.”

– photos courtesy Tree Frog Imaging

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