Cascades shake slump, earn crucial road win over Blues

The University of the Fraser Valley men’s volleyball team was in the primate eviction business on Friday evening, and business was good.

“It feels like we got a few monkeys off our back with this win,” Cascades head coach Kyle Donen said with a chuckle, in the aftermath of his team’s four-set triumph over the Capilano Blues in North Vancouver. “It means a lot.

MVB vs VIU Jan23-15 featured“There’s still things to improve on, but we took a step in the right direction by getting a big win that we really needed.”

Donen’s monkey metaphor was apt, in light of the fact the Cascades had come into Friday’s action on an 11-game losing streak. Moreover, the Blues were suddenly breathing down their necks in the playoff race – UFV was fifth in the PacWest conference at 6-14 coming in, with College of the Rockies (5-15) and Capilano (4-16) closing in. Only two of the three teams will qualify for the post-season.

But in the wake of Friday’s massive win (25-15, 24-26, 25-21, 25-22), the Cascades (7-14) now hold a three-game lead on the Blues (4-17) with three games to play. They can officially lock up a playoff berth with a victory in Saturday’s rematch in North Vancouver (8 p.m., webcast at sportscanada.tv/pacwest).

Adam Chaplin (13 kills) and Joel Kleingeltink (12 kills) set the pace offensively for UFV, and Isaiah Dahl came up with 16 digs.

The Cascades also served extremely tough – Kleingeltink blasted his way to five aces, while Chaplin and Nick Bruce had three apiece.

“I thought our offence really came alive today,” Donen said. “It’s something we worked on for most of the week, and we served really tough again tonight. Guys were ripping on the serve, and that gave us a lot of confidence.”

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Indigenizing at UFV

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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