The University of the Fraser Valley men’s volleyball team outlasted the Capilano Blues in a marathon match on Friday evening at the Envision Athletic Centre.
The two teams alternated wins over the first four sets, then engaged in a wild fifth set that saw the Cascades fend off three Capilano match points to prevail 18-16.
The CCAA No. 15-ranked Cascades improved to 4-0 at home and 6-5 overall in PacWest regular season action, while the Blues fell to 4-7. The two teams lock horns again on Saturday at 7 p.m. at the EAC.
UFV head coach Kyle Donen termed Friday’s tilt “a roller-coaster.”
“That’s sort of felt like what we were on the whole night,” he said with a wry grin. “I don’t feel it was a great match for us – we could have done better. But at the end of the day, we still found a way to scrounge out the win we wanted.
“They frustrated us at times, and we let that hurt us. I think we need to be better-disciplined tomorrow.”
The Blues won the first and third sets by scores of 25-17 and 25-23, and on each occasion the Cascades bounced back immediately to claim the second and fourth sets by 25-21 and 25-23 counts.
In the fifth, the Cascades faced deficits of 8-4 and 13-10. But fifth-year left side Adam Chaplin responded with a service run, highlighted by two aces – one which hit the tape but rolled over onto the Blues’ side of the net – to tie it 13-13.
UFV would still have to weather three match points for Capilano, but they survived each time and finally surged ahead to win 18-16.
“To take a team to the fifth set is always crazy, and to go past 15 in that set is even more crazy,” Chaplin said with a chuckle. “It’s so emotional for everyone at that point.
“It comes down to which team is going to get lucky at the end there.”
Saturday’s rematch, in Chaplin’s estimation, has the potential to be another barn-burner.
“They’re going to come back out firing,” he said. “There’s no doubt in my mind or in any of the rest of our team that they’re going to come out fighting even harder tomorrow to pass that barrier where we stopped them at the end of that fifth set.”