Mariners beat Cascades in four sets

Coming off a three-set defeat to the Vancouver Island University Mariners on Friday, the University of the Fraser Valley women’s volleyball team made some headway in Saturday’s rematch.

After dropping the opening set 25-19, the host Cascades bounced back to open a six-point lead early in the second, en route to a 25-21 triumph.

Nicole Blandford and the Cascades had a strong second set, but ultimately fell in four to the VIU Mariners on Saturday.

Nicole Blandford and the Cascades had a strong second set, but ultimately fell in four to the VIU Mariners on Saturday.

But that was as good as it would get for UFV – the defending PacWest champion Mariners finished strong, winning the next two sets 25-13 and 25-15 to complete the weekend sweep at the Envision Athletic Centre.

The Cascades fell to 2-4 on the season, while the Mariners evened their record at 2-2.

“In the second set, I thought both teams played well, and we were able to stay in it,” UFV head coach Mike Gilray said. “It was our best serving game, for sure. We passed well in that game, and we had subs who were able to go in and make differences when they played. We were connecting where we wanted to in the game plan.

“And then the third and fourth (sets) . . . we were down eight points before they got to 10. We can’t give leads to teams like that – it’s just too hard to close. They’re able to play free, serving way harder, and we’re just chasing the whole time.”

Middle Monique Huber paced the Cascades’ offence with seven kills, while Mandelyn Erikson and Chelsea Kidd had five apiece. Libero Amy Davidson racked up 14 digs.

“Our serving in the second game made our defence a bit easier, but I thought our transition game was our best,” Gilray said. “We were in long rallies, and we were able to win them. In the third and fourth, we weren’t even getting those long rallies. We were making errors before rallies would last.

“That’s been a goal of ours to get better on broken plays. We want to be able to put that ball in play better and force them to win points, as opposed to making unforced errors. I thought in that second game, that was our best.”

The Cascades volleyball teams now head into a bye week. They return to action with a road trip to Victoria Nov. 13-14 for games against the Camosun Chargers.

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