Cascades’ upset bid falls short vs. top-ranked Camosun

The University of the Fraser Valley men’s volleyball team had the top-ranked team in the nations on the ropes, only to watch the Camosun Chargers claw their way back for a five-set victory on Saturday afternoon.

Playing on the road in Victoria, the Cascades won the first two sets 25-19 and 28-26, with Adam Chaplin and Dayton Pagliericci delivering key aces in the late stages of the second to secure the win.

In the third, UFV fell behind 17-11, but battled back to tie it 22-22. The CCAA No. 1-ranked Chargers finished strong, though, to prevail 25-23.

The Cascades appeared to be in full control in the fourth, up 8-1 early behind some tough serving from Chaplin. But Camosun came all the way back to win 27-25.

The fifth set was a similar story – UFV led 5-2 and 10-7, only to watch the Chargers storm back to seal the victory 15-13.

Camosun preserved its undefeated record at 8-0, while the CCAA No. 13-ranked Cascades fell to 4-4. All of UFV’s defeats this season have come on the road against teams ranked No. 1 in the nation at the time – the Douglas Royals (Oct. 23-24), and now the Chargers.

“It’s early in the season – it’s a chance for us to learn,” Cascades head coach Kyle Donen said afterward. “Unfortunately we learned two tough lessons in two difficult losses against teams we had a chance to beat. It should give us fuel for our fire as we continue our season.”

Among the other standouts for the Cascades were outside hitter Nick Bruce, who got off to a tremendous start to the match, and libero Isaiah Dahl, who made dig after dig in the late going to keep his team in it.

“We played well at the beginning of every set – the first two sets, we took it to them,” Donen analyzed. “We had our opportunities to put them away in the third, too. We didn’t put them away the way we needed to; we didn’t execute at key times.

“All in all, we can’t be too disappointed about the overall outcome of the weekend. We took the No. 1 team in the country to the brink.”

The UFV volleyball teams hit the road again next weekend, facing the College of the Rockies Avalanche in Cranbrook on Friday (women 6 p.m., men 8 p.m.) and Saturday (women 1 p.m., men 3 p.m.).

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