Cascades drop three-set decision on the road to Royals

The University of the Fraser Valley men’s volleyball team suffered a second straight loss at the hands of the Douglas Royals on Saturday in New Westminster.

The Cascades (2-2) had pushed the undefeated Royals (4-0) to the limit on Friday before falling in five sets, but Douglas dispatched them more efficiently in the rematch, winning by scores of 25-16, 25-18 and 25-15.

“For the most part, I thought we beat ourselves,” UFV head coach Kyle Donen analyzed. “We didn’t have a great game overall. We started slow again tonight in each of the sets, and this time Douglas didn’t let us back in. That was the difference for us – we were still fighting an uphill battle each game, and this time we couldn’t make it back.

“We struggled to pass the ball tonight. I’m not sure if it was them serving tougher or not, but we didn’t pass how we needed to. At the end of the day, our overall performance wasn’t what it needed to be, but we had a good weekend. We almost beat a team we’re capable of beating last night, and tonight wasn’t our game.”

Bright spots for the Cascades included a pair of second-year players – middle Dayton Pagliericci and libero Isaiah Dahl. Donen felt that while the Cascades didn’t pass the ball well enough to get Pagliericci many attacking opportunities, the Chilliwack product was “a dominant force” in the blocking department and had “the best weekend of his young career” in the coach’s estimation. Dahl extended rallies with his strong defensive work.

“Those two guys were on fire at times,” Donen said.

The UFV volleyball teams are back in action at the Envision Athletic Centre next weekend, hosting the Vancouver Island University Mariners on Friday (women 6 p.m., men 8 p.m.) and Saturday (women 1 p.m., men 3 p.m.).

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