The University of the Fraser Valley men’s volleyball team wrapped up its first-semester schedule with a three-set home loss to the Camosun Chargers on Saturday.
The Chargers had beaten the Cascades in three on Friday, winning each set by the minimum two points. The visitors’ margin was more decisive in the rematch – they took the first two sets by matching 25-19 scores before rallying in the third to close out the match 25-22.
“Tonight we gave up too many points and made it very difficult to put ourselves in a position to win sets,” UFV head coach Kyle Donen said afterward.
“I thought we battled a little better the first night – I don’t think we had quite the same level tonight. But overall, there were definitely some positives to take away from the weekend, and to take away from the whole first half of our season. That’s the thing that’s important to remember.”
Both teams came into the weekend among the top 15 teams in the CCAA national rankings – Camosun at No. 12 and UFV at No. 14.
The loss evened the Cascades’ record at 6-6, while the Chargers improved to 9-3.
“They’re a tough team, they’re ahead of us in the standings, and they’ve been playing really well,” noted UFV right side Joel Kleingeltink, who led the team with nine kills and seven digs. “But it would have been nice to take a win, especially on our home court.”
Josh Togeretz, Robert Bauerfind and Robert Koenig posted three kills apiece for the Cascades, who seemed to have the momentum in the third set and appeared poised to extend the match. But trailing 21-19, the Chargers caught fire, reeling off six of the final seven points to seal the deal.
The UFV men have been missing starting setter Ryan Thain (finger) and left side Kurtis Stromdahl (ankle) for the past three weeks due to injury, and Donen is hopeful to have them back when the team returns to PacWest regular-season action Jan. 9-10 with road games vs. the Douglas Royals.
Heading into the Christmas break, Donen said it’s important for his team to focus on the things they’ve done well.
“It’s a long season, and it’s still very early,” he said. “Our goal is to put ourselves in a playoff spot, and we’re still in a position to do that.”