The University of the Fraser Valley women’s volleyball team got off to a promising start on the road against the No. 2-ranked team in the nation, but the Vancouver Island University Mariners seized control of the match and won in four sets.
The Cascades won the first set in decisive fashion, 25-15, but the Mariners bounced back to win the next three 25-9, 25-20, 25-12.
VIU ran its PacWest-leading record to 13-2, while UFV fell to 6-9. The two teams tangle again on Saturday in Nanaimo, starting at 1 p.m.
“At times today, we were definitely running the fastest offence we’ve run,” Cascades head coach Mike Gilray said.
“We were serving well and very consistent in the first set, and then they turned around and did the same to us. The first set, we were able to keep their best player (middle Tylar Turnbull) on the bench as she rotated through the back row, but the rest of the game she played extremely well.”
Left side Kelly Robertson was effective early to spark the Cascades to victory in the first set, but UFV started slowly in the second and allowed the Mariners to regain their rhythm.
VIU jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the third set, but the Cascades caught fire at that point and rallied to take a 19-17 lead. The Mariners, though, responded with a 4-0 run and closed out the set, then cruised in the fourth.
Veteran UFV middles Monique Huber and Mandelyn Erikson missed the game due to injury, pressing rookies Keira Fisher and Brielle Campbell into the starting lineup.
“They did well,” Gilray said. “They were up against a very strong team, and they didn’t let down. They did very good things today, and helped us be competitive to start. We just need to be more consistent on the passing side of the ball.”