The University of the Fraser Valley men’s volleyball team encountered some early adversity, but responded emphatically en route to a four-set triumph over the Capilano Blues on Friday in North Vancouver.
The Cascades and Blues battled tooth and nail in the first set, with the hosts eventually grinding out a 29-27 win. The visitors, though, grew stronger as the game wore on and won the next three sets by scores of 25-17, 25-19 and 25-14.
UFV (11-8, fourth in the PacWest) and Capilano (4-15, sixth in the PacWest) renew hostilities on Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Capilano Sportsplex.
“It was a weird game,” Cascades head coach Kyle Donen said afterward. “The first set was a little back and forth. I didn’t feel we played great in the opening set, and it was closer for that reason, and it was a good finish for them. But similar to our second game against College of the Rockies last week, we found a way to be better in the next three sets.”
Middle Dayton Pagliericci was a steady presence for the Cascades throughout, coming up with block touches to slow the Blues’ attack and contributing timely kills of his own. UFV was also buoyed by Isaiah Dahl’s return to the starting lineup – the sophomore libero had been limited due to injury over the previous three weeks.
“He felt comfortable, and did his job really well,” Donen said of Dahl.
The Cascades came in with a 2-7 record on the road – a sharp contrast to their sparkling 8-1 mark at home – and Donen said it was crucial for his squad to establish some success away from the Abbotsford campus.
“I definitely think we could have been better tonight, but the fact we were able to battle and get the win on the road was important,” he said. “I hope we take an even bigger step tomorrow. At the end of the day, we were able to grind out a win on the road.”