The Douglas College Royals lived up to their billing as the No. 2-ranked team in the nation on Saturday evening, beating the University of the Fraser Valley men’s volleyball team in three straight sets.
The Cascades had pushed the Royals to the limit on Friday in New Westminster, ultimately succumbing in a five-set thriller. But Saturday’s rematch wasn’t as close – after a solid showing in the first set, UFV saw their performance taper off.
“The first set was close, and then we ran into some trouble after that,” Cascades head coach Kyle Donen noted. “For the most part, we didn’t pass well tonight, which was difficult for us, and we struggled offensively.”
UFV, ranked No. 15 in the Canadian Colleges Athletic Association (CCAA) national poll, fell to 6-8 in PacWest conference play, while the Royals improved to 12-2.
Josh Togeretz and Robert Koenig of the Cascades tied for team-high honours with six kills apiece, and Togeretz added a team-best eight digs. Connor Nickel was UFV’s most efficient attacker, accounting for his five kills on a .571 hitting percentage.
“Douglas executed pretty well tonight, I thought,” Donen said. “But I thought some of the adjustments we made were good – I thought we did a better job of defence today, but we had a hard time translating the digs we did make into points. They did a good job of containing us.”
The Cascades head to Victoria next weekend for a Friday-Saturday set vs. the Camosun Chargers, who twice defeated UFV in straight sets back in November. Donen said his group is determined to have a better showing this time around.
“We’re playing them with a healthy lineup, so we’ll have a different look than we did,” he said. “And we’ll be better prepared, in that we’ll be a second week into practices after the Christmas break. That’ll be helpful for us. I think we know we can be better, and I think we owe them one.”