Royals beat Cascades women’s volleyballers in four sets to cap weekend sweep

The University of the Fraser Valley women’s volleyball team did some things very well on Saturday evening on the road vs. the Douglas Royals, but not enough of them consistently enough to pick up the win.

The Cascades (2-2) fell in four sets (25-14, 17-25, 25-23, 25-14) to the Royals in New Westminster, on the heels of a three-set defeat to Douglas the night before. In the aftermath, UFV head coach Mike Gilray felt that while there were some definite bright spots for his team, they weren’t able to match Douglas’s consistency.

In the first set, the Cascades were in control leading 11-7, but the Royals reeled off an 18-3 run to win it.

Then, in the second set, the Cascades rode some red-hot serving to victory, pounding 10 aces in the frame with Monique Huber and Keira Fisher leading the way in that department.

In the pivotal third set, the UFV women cranked things up in terms of their hitting efficiency, putting away 41 per cent of their attacks. But their magic at the service line deserted them – they had seven service errors in the set, allowing the Royals to steal a 25-23 win. The hosts maintained the momentum in the fourth to close out the match.

“We’re trying to find that balance between serving tough and forcing them to win points,” said Gilray, noting that his team’s 17 aces were nullified by 18 missed serves. “Right now, we’re winding up on the wrong side of the double-edged sword, if you will.

“We just gave up too many runs – we played some of our best volleyball this weekend,” he added. “It showed we can play with that team and stick with them. They were just more consistent.”

First-year outside hitter Chelsea Kidd led the Cascades with 10 kills to go with 10 digs, and she and fellow rookie Fischer both posted a hitting efficiency of 21 per cent. Libero Amy Davidson also had a strong game, coming off the bench in the second set to provide steady passing.

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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