The crosstown rivals split the first two sets at Columbia Place by matching scores of 25-21. The CCAA No. 6-ranked Bearcats clawed their way to victory in the next two sets, though, 25-22 and 25-21.
The Cascades fell to 7-16, good for fifth place in the PacWest conference, while the fourth-place Bearcats improved to 12-11.
“For the most part, I thought we looked good tonight,” Cascades head coach Kyle Donen said. “We tried a couple of different combinations that we hadn’t tried before, and we had guys step up.
“The one thing was, we didn’t serve very well tonight, and they kind of won the serving game. That’s usually an area of the game that we thrive in, but it didn’t work well for us. We missed more than we thought we should have.”
UFV got eight kills from Adam Chaplin, seven from Robert Bauerfind and six apiece from middles Robert Koenig and Dayton Pagliericci. Libero Isaiah Dahl registered 14 digs, and setter Ryan Thain had 29 assists.
The Cascades and Bearcats are going to be seeing an awful lot of each other over the next couple weeks. In the immediate future, they play again on Saturday at UFV’s Student Activity Centre North Gym to wrap up the PacWest regular season, with the women’s game (6 p.m.) preceding the men’s tilt (8 p.m.).
And no matter Saturday’s outcome, the UFV and CBC men are locked into a quarter-final match-up against each other at next week’s PacWest conference championship at Camosun College in Victoria (Feb. 26-28). The winner advances to the semis with a shot a qualifying for nationals, while the loser’s season is done.
Donen said that dynamic made for “a weird vibe” on Friday.
“It just seemed at times that there wasn’t the same kind of killer instinct that you usually see, because we’re going to have to play them two more times and it’s the last time that really counts,” he said. “But it was a good crosstown battle, and the crowd was really into it.”
On Saturday, the Cascades will honour their graduating players between games. Honourees include Josh Togeretz, Chris Schmitke and Kurtis Stromdahl of the men’s squad, and Kierra Noot, Katie Peacock, Emily Carroll and Sarah Russell of the women’s team.
“It’s an exciting time,” Donen said of Senior Night. “Obviously it’s a little bit bittersweet ,but it’s something they should enjoy and it’s something they’ll probably remember for the rest of their lives.”