In a game of wild momentum swings, the University of the Fraser Valley women’s volleyball team came out on the wrong end of a four-set decision against the Capilano Blues.
Playing at Capilano’s North Vancouver campus on Friday evening, the Cascades and Blues engaged in an epic first set which saw the hosts emerge with a 32-30 win.
Capilano rode that momentum to a 25-20 win in the second set, but UFV came out firing in the third, racing out to a 10-0 lead behind some scorching serves from middle Monique Huber. Huber, who was making her return to the lineup after an extended injury absence, racked up six aces in that service run alone, and finished with 11 aces for the game. The Cascades cruised to a 25-19 win to extend the match.
The fourth set was hard-fought, but the Blues scored the last three points to edge the Cascades 25-22 and wrap up the 3-1 victory.
The two teams came into Friday’s action tied for third place in the PacWest, but the CCAA No. 9-ranked Blues (10-9) inched ahead of the Cascades (9-10) heading into Saturday’s rematch (5 p.m. at Capilano).
“There were obviously some spots of brilliant play, but we were way too inconsistent,” UFV head coach Mike Gilray analyzed. “We had players who had big runs in serves, but as a whole team, we were far below our serving standard.
“It was a game where our inconsistencies and missing our standards in passing and serving hurt us.”
The Cascades were missing Rachel Funk due to illness on Friday, but fellow left side Kelly Robertson picked up the slack with 16 kills and 18 digs. Huber posted nine kills to go with her 11 aces, and libero Amy Davidson racked up 19 digs.
Gilray bemoaned his team’s boom-or-bust performance at the service line. The Cascades combined for 17 aces, but also missed 21 serves – four of them coming on set point in the first set.
Huber’s return was a boost, though.
“First game coming back, she was a big difference-maker for us,” Gilray said. “She brought some good energy to the court, but we need to surround her with more players joining in with consistent games.”