Cascades fall to Mariners for second straight night

The University of the Fraser Valley men’s volleyballers found themselves on the wrong end of a weekend sweep, as the Vancouver Island University Mariners downed them in straight sets on Saturday in Nanaimo.

The set scores (25-19, 28-26, 25-20) were closer than they had been on Friday – also a three-set triumph for VIU – but Cascades head coach Kyle Donen didn’t see much in the way of improvement for his squad.

“It was similar today,” he said. “There wasn’t a lot that changed (Friday to Saturday), which was tough for us, because I know we can be better than we showed.”

The weekend wins gave the Mariners (10-6) and two-game cushion on the Cascades (8-8) in the race for third place in the PacWest.

UFV’s outstanding libero Isaiah Dahl was sidelined due to injury for both weekend games, and Donen felt that his team struggled mentally to overcome the absence of their defensive security blanket.

“I think that we let one player who wasn’t able to play kind of sidetrack us too much,” Donen said. “He’s definitely a difficult player to replace, but we’re capable of being a lot better.”

Donen praised the play of fifth-year left side Robert Bauerfind, who had consistent performances in both games and even took a turn at libero in the third set on Saturday.

The UFV volleyball teams now head into a bye week. They return to action Jan. 30-31 with home games vs. the College of the Rockies Avalanche.

“We’ve got a bye week now to prepare and improve on where we finished this weekend, and we’ll come back better and stronger in the following weeks,” Donen said.

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The University of the Fraser Valley is situated on the unceded traditional territory of the Stó:lō peoples. The Stó:lō have an intrinsic relationship with what they refer to as S’olh Temexw (Our Sacred Land); therefore, we express our gratitude and respect for the honour of living and working in this territory.

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