The University of the Fraser Valley men’s volleyball team sacrificed a bit of excitement for the sake of efficiency on Saturday evening, as they completed a weekend sweep of the Capilano Blues.
On Friday, the Cascades required five sets to beat the Blues, eking out an 18-16 win in the fifth. It was thrilling volleyball for the fans, but not so much for UFV head coach Kyle Donen, who knew his team had more to give.
Saturday’s performance was more to Donen’s liking, as the Cascades prevailed in four sets (25-19, 24-26, 25-21, 25-22).
“We did a better job tonight,” Donen noted. “Still some hiccups here and there, but for the most part, much more consistent.
“It’s a good feeling heading into the break, having had three wins in a row.”
Indeed, the CCAA No. 15-ranked Cascades (7-5) not only head into Christmas with three straight wins and a perfect 5-0 record at the Envision Athletic Centre, they’ve also matched their win total for the entire 2014-15 PacWest campaign already.
“We’ve battled better on the road already this year, and we’ve continued to hold home court, which is something we did last year,” Donen said. “We’ve got work to do over the break before we get going in the second semester, but I feel good about where we’re at and where I think we can get to in the next month or so.”
The Cascades volleyball teams are now off until the weekend of Jan. 8-9, when they host the Camosun Chargers.
On Saturday, UFV controlled the first set, but trailed by as many as six points in the second before rallying to tie it at 24-24. The Blues, though, scored the next two points to level the match.
In the third set, the Cascades got energy off the bench from reserves Connor Prium, Levi Block and Dan Tang to spark a 25-21 win, and they finished off the match in clinical fashion in the fourth.
Donen praised the play of middles Connor Nickel and Dayton Pagliericci, who were effective as attackers and blockers.
“We attacked the middle really well when we could pass, and it worked for us,” Donen said. “They’re a little undersized in that middle spot, and we just kept attacking it and it continued to work.”