Avalanche erase early deficit to defeat Cascades

A promising start gave way to a disappointing conclusion for the University of the Fraser Valley men’s volleyball team on Friday evening.

013Having made the lengthy journey to Cranbrook to take on the College of the Rockies Avalanche, the Cascades defied the “bus legs” phenomenon to take the first set. But the Avalanche came roaring back to win the next three.

The result dropped the Cascades to 6-13 on the season, good for fifth place in the PacWest conference. The seventh-place Avalanche improved to 4-15, and will be aiming to gain more ground when the two teams clash again on Saturday afternoon (2 p.m. Pacific time, webcast at sportscanada.tv/pacwest).

“Even though we won the first set, we started relatively slow,” UFV head coach Kyle Donen analyzed. “We battled back and gave ourselves a chances to win, took a lead and finished them off.

“But after that, we struggled to execute. We didn’t pass the ball well, and it affected the rest of our game.”

Donen was pleased with the play of middles Connor Nickel and Dayton Pagliericci, who were awfully sharp on Friday – particularly in the first set – and finished with five kills apiece.

But the Avalanche regrouped and won the second and third sets by comfortable margins, and then fended off a determined push from the Cascades in the fourth.

“We know we can be better,” Donen said. “We need to stay positive as a group and come to the gym tomorrow ready to battle – forget about this one and realize that tomorrow is an important game.”

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The University of the Fraser Valley is situated on the unceded traditional territory of the Stó:lō peoples. The Stó:lō have an intrinsic relationship with what they refer to as S’olh Temexw (Our Sacred Land); therefore, we express our gratitude and respect for the honour of living and working in this territory.

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