The University of the Fraser Valley men’s volleyball team was unable to complete a weekend sweep against the No. 2-ranked team in Canada, falling in straight sets to the Douglas Royals on Saturday evening.
The Royals, coming off a five-set defeat – their first of the season – at the hands of the Cascades on Friday at the Student Activity Centre North Gym, were a focused group for the rematch and prevailed 25-16, 25-19, 25-20.
“Again, I don’t think we got off to a great start, but it was a little more difficult to battle back tonight,” UFV bench boss Kyle Donen analyzed.
“I thought they were a little better tonight, and we weren’t able to sustain any pressure. We didn’t serve as well as we did last night, and that made it difficult for us to get any momentum. When you’re not serving well and not serving consistent, it’s very difficult to come back against a team that’s as strong as Douglas is.”
The Cascades, who were missing key players Ryan Thain, Kurtis Stromdahl and Nick Bruce due to injury for the second straight game, got eight kills apiece from right side Joel Kleingeltink and left side Josh Togeretz. Libero Chris Schmitke registered six digs.
While Saturday’s result wasn’t what UFV was looking for, Donen acknowledged that a weekend split against the powerhouse Royals was a solid showing for his squad.
“It gives us a lot of confidence with the lineup we’ve got, even if we have the injuries we do,” he said. “I think we can be happy with a weekend split, but we know we want to be better, and we’re always going to strive to be better every night. Hopefully the couple weeks we have off to work on some stuff will benefit us.”
The UFV volleyball teams are off next weekend, and return to action at home Nov. 28-29 vs. the Camosun Chargers.